Study to examine BPA exposure in cashiers.

A lot of people rely on their part-time or full-time jobs as cashiers in stores, supermarkets or other types of businesses to make a living or supplement their income – but experts are worried that they could be exposed to high levels of a potentially toxic chemical.

Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences want to know if the high levels of bisphenol A, or BPA for short, on the slick receipt paper that many cashiers handle on a daily basis should be a reason of concern.

They are asking cashiers to volunteer to have blood and urine samples to be taken for the study.

What is BPA?

BPA is a common ingredient in durable plastics, like those used to make hard plastic water bottles and to line food cans. Recently, reports have been published about experts expressing concerns that BPA exposure might be much higher than previously thought.

There is some conflicting evidence that BPA can cause developmental damage in children and reproductive problems in adults, but more research is needed.

Some types of thermal paper used in cash registers are coated with BPA, and the chemical easily rubs off onto your fingers when you touch them.

In their new study, the NIEHS team will measure levels of BPA in the blood and urine of volunteer cashiers, said Stavros Garantziotis, who is directing the research.

Testing BPA levels before and after a cashier’s shift will show how much BPA was absorbed into a cashier’s body while he or she was working.

While there are some alternative paper sources using such substances as bisphenol S, not much is known about the effects of these chemicals, either, the experts warned.

Source: News Observer

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