Would You Like Your Receipt?

Kelsie Mitchell“Would you like your receipt?”

A harmless and innocent question that most of us hear every day at this time of year. Regardless of whether or not that receipt is just going to end up crumpled in the bottom of our purses, many of us still say yes anyway. Whether out of habit or not, in the midst of the shopping mania of the holidays, it might serve our interests to take a moment of pause the next time we are asked that question.

This is because the type of paper that receipts are printed on often contains bisphenol-A. BPA is harmful endocrine disruptor linked to breast cancer, reproductive issues and other health complications. Recent research has linked BPA in our bodies with our handling of receipt paper increasing our chances of breast cancer. [i]

Receipts are made out of “thermal paper” which means that heat is used to activate the ink. BPA is an ingredient used in that ink, and one study found BPA in 94% of thermal receipt papers tested.[ii]

Take the time over the holidays to step back and give a gift to yourself. Reduce your exposure to endocrine disruptors. Try to skip the receipt altogether, or ask for an electronic alternative. With the knowledge of how you can protect and promote your health, you can be proactive in creating a healthy and joyful holiday season!

[i] Nuwer, Rachel. “Check Your Receipt: It May Be Tainted.” The New York Times. 11 Nov. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/check-your-receipt-it-may-be-tainted/?_r=0

[ii] http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es202507f

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