How many times in the day do you have a receipt in your hands delivered to the boxes of shops and supermarkets? Well, an international study suggests that 90% of them are made with thermal paper and contain bisphenol-A (BPA).
This is an endocrine switch that alters hormonal balance in people and leads to hormonal diseases such as genitourinary malformations, infertility, obesity and cancer in hormone-dependent organs, such as the breasts.
The informants, according to a press release, warn that tickets or receipts should not be mixed with food in the kitchen when you unpack the purchase, such as fish or meat. Neither should we play with them, nor crumple them to throw them away, write notes or keep them in the car, bag or bag.
In these cards the ink is erased over time because they are made with that thermal paper that contains that chemical substance harmful to health, prohibited for many uses in different countries.
The study was conducted by the University of Granada (UGR), with researchers from the Granada Institute of Sanitary Research (ibANAGRANADA), the San Cecilio University Hospital of Granada; The Université Paris Descartes and the Necker Enfants Malades hospital in Paris (France) and the National School of Public Health in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
Today it concerns the involuntary exposure of the general population to bisphenol-A and alternatives are sought.
"We can recognize this type of paper because, if we bring a source of heat, for example, a game, it is immediately blackened", explains the professor of Medicine at UGR Nicolás Olea, who together with José Manuel Molina, from ibs . GRANADA, are the main authors of the work. One of the alternatives seems to be the use of bisphenol-S (BPS) that has a molecular structure somewhat similar to BPA, but with an introduction of a sulfur (S) atom instead of a carbon (C ) in its formula.
In the study, published in the journal Environmental Research, the researchers analyzed the presence of BPA and BPS in the thermal paper receipts we use daily, as well as the hormonal activity of the extracts of these receipts.
Thus, they studied 112 thermal paper receipts from Brazil, Spain and France. "For the user they are easy to identify, since they are the ones that get lost printing over time and when you're going to return the pants you bought, the clerk tells you that you do not see nothing ", explains Olea. "Many times all you find is a fine white powder that falls off when you remove them from your bag or purse.BPA is just that white powder that stains your fingers."
In the study, over 90% of revenues collected in Brazil and Spain have BPA and the biological activity of hormonal anti-androgenic character is present in all those that contain BPA.
They cautioned, however, that only half of France's revenues have BPA, which confirms that the French government has taken measures since 2014 to reduce the thermal paper compound in order to protect the population.
"The bad thing is that the French alternative seems to be the BPS, which we found mainly in the revenue of that country and rarely in the Spanish and Brazilians.Unfortunately, BPS is also an endocrine disruptor, with a greater environmental persistence and therefore , it can not be a valid option, "emphasizes the UGR professor.
Despite this, the researchers fear that its use will increase in the coming years, since its regulation is not as rigid as that established around the BPA.
The researchers recommend that the population proceed with caution.
"For example, we should not mix tickets with food in the kitchen when I buy, fish or meat, nor should we play with them, or shrink them to throw them away, write notes or keep them in the car, in the bag or in the bag, "says Olea. "We must, in short, manipulate this type of tickets as little as possible." Moreover, if the studies have not been done on its contents.