December 22, 2010

For many, the holidays are stressful times.  Businesses are faced with the crush of year-end.  Travel plans are always subject to unpredictable weather.  Finding time to shop heightens the stress level.  Now, to make matters worse, an environmental group has found that shopping – more specifically, handling sales receipts – may expose consumers to biphenyl A (BPA).  The study, conducted in ten states and Washington, D.C., found that half of the receipts from cash registers and 95 percent of paper currency tested were tainted with BPA.  A link to the study and related press releases can be found at: http://watoxics.org/publications/on-the-money.

Concerns over BPA toxicity in plastics have led to bans by a number of states of BPA in children’s products including bottles and cups.  States enacting the phase out of BPA in certain children’s products include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maryland, Vermont and Washington.

Apparently, BPA has also been used in the powdery film used in sales receipts since the 1960s.  The environmental group expressed concern that BPA can easily be transferred from receipts to other items, including currency and human skin where it can be absorbed into the body.  The environmental group conceded that a single exposure won’t cause health problems, but maintained that repeated exposure may present health risks.  The federal Center for Disease Control has found that retail workers had BPA levels 28 percent higher than the average adult.

All is not lost.  According to a recent news report, a number of major retailers including Sears, Home Depot, Hannaford and Wal-Mart, are using BPA-free receipts.  To learn more please go to: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Sales-receipts-offering-toxic-threat-to-buyers-869844.php.  As the clock winds down on the 2010 holiday shopping season, there is always the on line shopping.  Have a safe and BPA-free holiday!

The views contained within this entry and on this website are my own and do not constitute those of Hessian & McKasy, a Professional Association.

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