When it comes to food products, the industrial chemical BPA (bisephonal-A) is most often referenced in regards to its elimination from plastic containers and the inner lining of metal cans. But BPA and BPS (short for bisephonal-S, a similar phenol chemical to BPA) are also commonly found in register receipts. One, or both, are currently in receipts at Ben & Jerry’s, 7-Eleven, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and many, many more retailers, according to recent findings by the Ecology Center, a Michigan-based company focused on encouraging organizations to make safe products.
The study, published Wednesday, Jan. 17, found phenol chemicals in 93 percent of the tested receipts, which were sourced from grocery stores, gas stations, libraries, independent businesses, and more. Because these chemicals have been associated with potential health hazards (studies have suggested—though the science is mixed—that it might be an endocrine disrupter, and could increase the risk of miscarriage, among other results), the Center is recommending all businesses switch to a combination of safer thermal paper and electronic receipts.
Several years ago, Trader Joe’s evaluated the use of BPA in their products and published a statement clarifying its presence in their packaging. In light of the Ecology Center’s recommendations, the grocery store updated a statement regarding toxic chemicals (originally published in November 2017) to say they are now “pursuing receipt paper that is free of phenol chemicals (including BPA and BPS), which we will be rolling out to all stores as soon as possible.”