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Wholesale and retail trade | Workplace exposures

Workers who handle receipts may be exposed to BPA: study

March 5, 2014

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Cincinnati – Handling receipts may expose cashiers to a chemical that has been linked to reproductive problems, according to a new study from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

In a small study, researchers compared levels of bisphenol A (also known as BPA) among 24 volunteers who handled receipts printed on thermal paper without wearing gloves. After touching receipts for two straight hours, all of the participants were found to have BPA in their system, compared with 83 percent at the start of the study.

Twelve participants provided additional samples while wearing gloves, and researchers found no increase in BPA levels among this group.

BPA is commonly used in plastics and food and beverage cans, but the findings suggest thermal receipts may be another source of exposure, especially for workers who frequently handle receipts. Researchers said a larger study is needed to confirm the findings.

The study was published in the Feb. 26 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.