retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that a new study released by the Environmental Working Group suggests that Americans may be exposed to bisphenol-A, also known as BPA, through the paper receipts being handed out at retailers that include Safeway; the environmental organization reportedly found “BPA on 40 percent of the receipts it collected from supermarkets, automated teller machines, gas stations and chain stores. In some cases, the total amount of BPA on the receipt was 1,000 times the amount found in the epoxy lining of a can of food, another controversial use of the chemical.”

Bisphenol-A has been under fire because it is a compound found in many food containers that some believe can have a negative impact on the health of children - alters development of the brain, behavior and the prostate gland in children, before and after birth - who consume food or drink from these containers. One recent study suggested that 92 percent of food from metal cans is contaminated with BPA and that pregnant women should limit their intake of canned food and drink.

According to the story, “Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the environmental group, says BPA's prevalence on receipts could help explain why the chemical can be detected in the urine of an estimated 93 percent of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“‘We've come across potentially major sources of BPA right here in our daily lives,’ Lunder said. ‘When you're carrying around a receipt in your wallet for months while you intend to return something, you could be shedding BPA into your home, into your environment. If you throw a receipt into a bag of food, and it's lying there against an apple, or you shove a receipt into your bag next to a baby pacifier, you could be getting all kinds of exposure and not realize it.’

“What remains unknown is how much of the chemical that may rub off onto the hands is absorbed through the skin or whether people then ingest BPA by handling food or touching their mouths.”
KC's View:
Pernicious stuff. It has been my feeling for some time that BPA is going to be banned sooner rather than later. Stories like this one will only hasten the inevitable ... and pretty soon the only ones defending BPA will be the chemical companies that make it. in other words, companies with almost no credibility on the subject.