Could Having Store Receipts Be Making You Sick?

March 22, 2018

© Andrey Popov |

I just looked in my purse, and my wallet and I confirmed what I already knew. I had a ton of store receipts in the bottom of my bag and tucked into my wallet. They range from grocery receipts to gas station receipts to even receipts from furniture I bought last year. Why do I have them? I can't tell you. 

But one thing I do know is that I need to get rid of them STAT! According to a new study, all of these receipts can be making us sick! 

What's the harm in having receipts around? The Ecology Center, based in Michigan, just released the research they found about store receipts and all the chemicals in them. Just think about the paperwork you get when you buy a car. There are so many different documents that are on that carbon paper. I think carbon paper smells so good, but it's full of chemicals. 

The study found that "93% of receipts tested positive for BPA or BPS, chemicals that are correlated with negative effects on hormones, metabolism and other bodily functions." The receipts in the study included ones from major retailers, fast-food restaurants, etc. 

BPA is Bisphenol-A. It's a chemical found in plastics and epoxy resins. You have probably seen products with labels that say BPA free on them. So why are these on so many receipts? Because the printers used to print most receipts use thermal paper and a thermal printer. 

So what can you do to protect yourself? Many stores offer you the option to get an e-receipt sent via email. Sure, that means your email could be clogged up with more junk, but in the long run it's better than a purse full of old receipts. And you won't lose the receipt as easily if it's sent digitaally so if you need to make a return it can be a huge help. 

This seems like a perfect excuse to Spring clean your purse of all of the receipts.