Hands Off that Receipt—It’s Toxic


We’ve got our hands on cash register receipts all the time—they’re in our wallets, our bags, our cars, and our pockets. 

The problem is what’s all over them: BPA.

BPA (or bisphenol A) is a chemical that’s used as a heat-activator for receipt paper ink—and it’s toxic

BPA is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen, meaning, when it gets into your blood, it binds to your cells’ estrogen receptor sites, disrupting normal hormone functioning. According to scientific researcher Frederick vom Saal, “BPA has been proven to cause reproductive defects in fetuses, infants, children, and adults as well as cancer, metabolic, and immune problems in rodents.”

That’s right. BPA is a known carcinogen

In fact, scientific studies have shown that BPA has caused normal, healthy cells to act like cancer cells, “growing invasively when they’re not supposed to.”

In other words, BPA has the power to turn on genes known as oncogenes, which promote tumor cell growth, and to turn off the genes that suppress, or stop, tumor cell replication. 

And the news keeps getting worse. BPA doesn’t remain confined to the receipt paper; it effortlessly glides off the paper and onto our hands—and, if we’ve learned anything in developing a skincare line here at ASHLEY ASTI, it’s that what goes on our skin is easily and quickly absorbed into our bloodstream.

According to the EPA, 94% of receipt paper contains BPA. And, according to vom Saal’s study, it doesn’t take much for those receipts to contaminate our bodies: our blood levels of BPA literally spike after simply handling a cash register receipt. 

One touch and BPA is in our bloodstream.

Despite the hard science, the FDA is continuing to move at a sloth-like pace when it comes to acting on this danger. 

Renee Sharp, director of the Environmental Working Group’s California office said, “What we’ve seen with the FDA’s handling of BPA is that it’s had its head in the sand. If you look at its assessments, what you see is that it has consistently ignored independent science and consistently used outdated methods.” 

So what’s a consumer to do? As often as possible, just say no.

Opt out of taking that toxic receipt home with you along with your bundle of groceries or, when you can, choose an email receipt, instead. 

The cancer rate in America is 1 out of 2.5 people. We’ve got to start making some changes.

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