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FDA BPA assessment says bisphenol-a safe in food-contact products for infants, humans
Bisphenol A Myths

Myth: BPA exposure from sales receipts can pose health risks.

Reality: Some receipts made from thermal paper can contain low levels of bisphenol A (BPA). However, available data suggests that BPA is not readily absorbed through the skin. Biomonitoring data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that exposure to BPA from all sources, which would include typical exposure from receipts, is extremely low. Exposure levels to BPA by the general U.S. population - from all sources - are quite low; they're about 1,000 times below safe intake levels set by government bodies in Europe and the U.S.

In fact, a new study looking into this very concern shows that while low levels of BPA can transfer from thermal paper to skin, those levels are well below government-set safe intake levels, even under the worst-case conditions included in the study (Biedermann, S., P. Tschudin & K. Grob, 2010, "Transfer of bisphenol A from thermal printer paper to the skin," Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, vol. 398, no. 1, pages 571-576. Abstract and full article available at: SpringerLink).

This study utilized 13 thermal printing papers, 11 of which contained BPA. The test subjects took hold of a receipt consisting of thermal printing paper for 5 seconds. While the amount of BPA transferred to the skin was greater when the fingers were wet or very greasy than when the skin was dry, the levels transferred in either case were quite low.

The researchers calculated that even a person repeatedly touching thermal printer paper for 10 hours a day, such as at a cash register, would be exposed to BPA levels 42 times less than safe daily intake amounts. They concluded: "On the basis of the present TDI (tolerable daily intake), thermal printer paper with BPA can probably be considered safe even for these reasonable worst cases..."

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