Receipts At Major Store Chains Contain 'Toxic' Chemicals, Report Says

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — "Toxic chemicals" can be found in a wide number of receipts at the nation's largest retail stores and restaurant chains, according to a new report.

A study by the Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental health organization in Detroit, said that about 80% of receipts from 122 major chain stores in 22 U.S. states and the District of Columbia contained bisphenols, particularly bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS). BPA is a chemical primarily used in the production of polycarbonate plastics.

"These chemicals are not strongly bound to the paper and come off easily onto the skin," the report said. "Moisturizer and hand sanitizer have been found to enhance absorption through the skin. Some, especially the bisphenols, can interfere with normal hormone (endocrine) function, potentially leading to developmental abnormalities or contributing to disease and obesity."

The Ecology Center found bisphenols in receipts from retailers and restaurants such as Walmart, McDonald's, Amazon, Dunkin', Kohl's, The Home Depot, Old Navy, Wendy's, Nordstrom, IKEA, and several others.

Receipts that did not contain bisphenols came from the following places: Costco, Culver's, CVS, H&M, Lululemon, REI, Starbucks, Target, Trader Joe’s, TJX (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Sierra Trading Post, Home Goods) and Whole Foods.

A full list of tested receipts can be found here.

The study noted that the amount of major stores using receipts that contain BPA or BPS has declined since the Ecology Center last tested for the chemicals, decreasing from 93% in 2017 to 80% now. It also showed that BPS appears to be a major replacement chemical for BPA in U.S. receipts.

The Ecology Center recommended that shoppers decline printed receipts when possible, or fold the receipts with the printed side in. They also recommended that consumers wash their hands after handling receipts and keeping them out of reach of babies and children.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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