The mere presence of BPA in paper does not necessarily mean it will end up in people. Which is why EWG did a damp wipe of four receipts to see how much could be removed. And between 0.7 and 3.8 percent of the BPA “easily wiped off,” reports Andrews. “That’s a direct concern for me,” he quips, “because I generally have sweaty hands.”
The damp swipe might also simulate a toddler with slobbery hands that plays with the receipt or acquires some of the sloughed off BPA from the hand of a parent that just paid for that Happy Meal.
Bill Van Den Brandt of Appleton Papers says that the receipts paper made by his company (which bills itself as the nation’s leading producer of carbonless and thermal papers) is BPA-free. Which would be useful for a consumer to know if the company's name was also printed on that paper. It isn't.
Actually, Appleton and other BPA-free paper makers should look at EWG’s new data as a marketing opportunity.
For instance, how about imprinting a running line on the front edge or back side of receipt paper that says BPA-free? This would — at the point of sale — alert consumers who are wary of BPA exposures that the sales receipt they’ve just been handed will not add to their bodies' accumulation of the chemical.