According to a new French study posted online this week for the journal Chemosphere, BPA easily passes through the skin, suggesting that cash register receipts containing the estrogen-mimicking chemical may be more worrisome than previously thought.
The study, conducted at INRA, the National Institute for Agricultural Research in France may also explain why another recent study found that among nearly 400 pregnant Cincinnati-area women, the highest BPA concentrations were in cashiers.
BPA is found in a large share of cash register receipt paper in the United States and several other studies have confirmed that it easily rubs off of the powdery coating on receipts and onto hands.
In their research, the French scientists applied BPA at various concentrations to the dry outer surface of the skin, with a low concentration that would be roughly equivalent to the amount rubbed off on skin from handling receipt paper. After three days more than half of the BPA had diffused through the skin and into the growth medium.
Meanwhile, it's no coincidence that Appleton Papers, one of the largest producers of cash register receipt papers in the U.S. plans to have an easily identifiable BPA-free receipt paper on the market in time for the holiday shopping season.