• Ecover Looks At Warnings To Consumers About Receipts

    Feb 10, 2012 | By Lindsay

    Running our errands on any given day, we may take receipts from cashiers several times for things like iced coffee, groceries and gas. That’s fine, but now Ecover has seen that there are new studies out that draw attention to many of the receipt processes out there, reporting that some could be harmful.

    The Environmental Working Group found high levels of the cancer-causing compound bisphenol A (BPA) on two-fifths of papers receipts that they tested. BPA is a substance that acts like the hormones in the endocrine system, disrupting their normal function. We’ve known for quite some time that BPA can be found in some water bottles and food cans. But receipts?

    In some cases, the amount of BPA on a given receipt was 1,000 times the levels typically found in a can of food. The EPA collected the receipts from grocery stores, fast food restaurants, gas stations, postal offices and ATM’s; they conducting “wipe tests” which showed that the BPA coating of the paper receipts would likely affix to the skin of anyone who handled them. What’s more alarming; BPA can be absorbed into the skin and transferred to the digestive tract by touching the mouth.

    As a company who ensures our products are healthy and safe, and as consumers in the marketplace ourselves, this is certainly concerning.  Thankfully, the organization offers tips for consumers and employers who’d like to limit exposure:

    • Wash your hands after handling receipts but do not use alcohol-based hand cleaners. The study showed that these products can actually increase the skin’s BPA absorption.
    • Never allow a child to play with a receipt.
    • Do not recycle receipts as BPA residues from receipts will contaminate recycled paper.
    • Transfer to paperless options like emailed electronic receipts.

    We urge you to ask the stores where you shop to purchase BPA-free paper. And because we care about your health, we feel the best tip may be to simply decline any printed receipts, if possible!

    Image by Guerilla Futures / Jason Tester via www.flickr.com

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