Bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS) that can potentially disrupt the human body’s normal functioning and develop cancer have been found in cash receipts, says a study drawing grave concern.
The fetuses of pregnant workers who handle toxic receipts may be the most vulnerable to exposure to bisphonels, it added.
BPA and BPS are endocrine disruptors that mimic hormones like estrogen and thyroid hormone, disrupting the body’s normal functioning.
In receipts, they are present in loose powder, which easily leaves a very high concentration of the chemical on peoples' fingers, said the study.
Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) conducted the follow up study in association with Financial Industry Public Interest Foundation and Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health – WIOEH, Seoul, South Korea.
ESDO shared the study findings at an event held virtually on Monday. The study titled ‘Transaction with Toxins: BPA in Cash Receipts’.
According to the study findings, about 97 per cent of the total collected cash receipts sample from 40 different places are made of thermal paper and among that 97 per cent thermal paper, 69 per cent of them include bisphenol A (BPA) and 26 per cent has bisphenol S (BPS).
A total of 67 samples were collected. Only two samples from one local franchise store were detected as “not thermal paper”. All the receipt samples exceeded the EU standard, the study added.
The samples were collected from public offices, local franchise stores, large major supermarkets, small supermarkets or convenience stores, bank number tickets and delivery receipts or general retail shops.
Earlier in 2019, ESDO conducted its first study on it and found the BPA in all 36 samples.
Besides, a baseline survey was conducted physically on total 1350 people and it was found that zero per cent surveyed population was unknown or unaware of BPA-containing thermal paper and its harmful effects.
Prof Dr Mohammad Robed Amin, a line director at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said that BPA is mostly used in polycarbonate plastics, epoxy resins and in thermal papers.
People should use glass and stainless steel instead of plastic (for water bottles, storage containers, and baby bottles, for example) to avoid BPA, he suggested.
Guest Speaker of the event, Dr. Yun-Keun Lee, Executive Director, Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health (WIOEH) said, “BPA is a hormone-like substance that has been linked to reproductive problems in fetuses, infants, adolescents, and adults.”
Dr Md Mahbubur Rahman, project coordinator, Environmental Intervention Unit, icddr,b, stated "EDC is a new concern, and it's critical to focus on removing EDCs that disproportionately harm the most vulnerable, such as women of reproductive age, the unborn fetus, and children."
ESDO study team leader Dr Shahriar Hossain said that the 'BPA and BPS from thermal paper can pass into the bloodstream more quickly. At the levels seen in this study, the risk of diseases such as diabetes, neurological imbalance, and even cancer escalates.
Chief guest Syed Marghub Murshed, Chairperson of ESDO urged for immediate regulatory actions.