Bisphenol in shop receipts is toxic to people and pets

COMMENT/OPNION: Frankly, it is shocking and disgraceful that bisphenol is present in 93% of receipts in the UK. These are receipts that come out of self-service cashpoints and which are ubiquitous. The old-fashioned receipt is hardly seen today. You can tell if your receipt is one containing bisphenol by scratching the paper. If a dark line appears it contains either bisphenol A or bisphenol S. It is used in thermal paper. They should never have been introduced.

Bisphenol receipts
Bisphenol thermal paper receipts. Picture: PoC.

Nowadays shop staff do tend to ask you whether you want a receipt or not as do a lot of the self-service machines. But for example Marks & Spencer’s self-service machines automatically creates a receipt as I recall. Their staff also automatically generate a receipt and it is on thermal paper. This indicates that Marks is asleep on environmental issues.

So the receipt that we grab contains bisphenol. We handle these receipts so the bisphenol is deposited on our hands. Let’s say we go home and stroke are cat or dog as soon as we go inside. We deposit the bisphenol onto our cat’s fur. She licks it off. She ingests it.

Bisphenol is toxic. It is widespread in the environment and it is a synthetic xenoestrogen. It is carcinogenic and it affects the endocrine system i.e. the system that creates our hormones.

A research study indicates that it may elevate the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in humans. This chemical can affect brain development, the health of heart, lung and prostate glands and reproductive abilities. It is toxic stuff and you can’t dispose of it in the usual way to recycle it. You have to throw it into the non-recyclable trash where it goes into landfill where it probably leaches out and makes the surrounding area toxic.

Apparently, it is possible to buy thermal paper that does not contain bisphenol. These papers can be recycled. If that is true, why aren’t the big retailers using these types of receipt papers?

Bisphenol is polluting the environment and therefore damaging it and potentially and actually wildlife. There is no need for this to happen. It is time for the retailers to consider more the environmental impact of their policies.

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Post Category: Environment