Cashiers may have higher risk for BPA exposure than general population from handling printed receipts

bodypeThe use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic has been on the decline amid growing concerns that the compound’s estrogen-mimicking properties may cause dangerous hormonal disruptions. Despite the reduction, BPA remains a ubiquitous substance, found in thousands of products.

Cashiers who frequently handle thermal printed receipts may be exposed to higher levels of BPA than the general population. For the first time, researchers are studying this workforce segment to measure how their exposure may differ from that of the general population.

The study was published in ScienceDaily.

Despite its well-documented effects as a hormone disruptor, Bisphenol A (BPA) is still used to manufacture thousands of products ranging from cigarette filters to food packaging, medical devices and toys. BPA is used to create plastic coatings and harden clear plastics, but the compound mimics estrogen, potentially interfering with a growing child’s hormones or contributing to the development of hormone-dependent diseases.

In the last decade, consumer pressure and government regulations have helped phase out the addition of BPA to plastic baby and water bottles. Yet, the chemical is so ubiquitous, recent population exposure studies suggest that just about every person living in an industrialized nation absorbs minuscule amounts of BPA every day, mostly through food. Scientists still don’t know if this chronic, extremely low-level exposure has any ill-effects.

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