Thermal Receipt Handling Impacts Urinary BPA Concentration

(HealthDay News) — Thermal receipt handling is associated with increased urinary concentrations of bisphenol A (BPA), according to a research letter published in the Feb. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Shelley Ehrlich, MD, ScD, MPH, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined whether handling of thermal receipts increases BPA exposure. Twenty-four volunteers (mean age, 35 years) provided urine samples after participating in a simulation of handling receipts continuously for two hours without gloves. After a washout period of at least one week, the simulation was repeated by 12 participants wearing nitrile gloves.

The researchers detected BPA in 83% of samples at baseline and in all samples after handling without gloves, with geometric mean urinary concentrations of 1.8µg/L and 5.8µg/L before and after simulation, respectively (P=0.005 for interaction between pre- and post-simulation BPA and glove status). In sequential urine samples from 12 participants, the geometric mean urinary BPA concentration was 2.1µg/L at baseline and 6.0, 11.1, 10.5, and 4.7µg/L at four, eight, 12, and 24 hours, respectively (all measures significantly different from baseline). After handling receipts with gloves, there was no significant increase in urinary BPA.

“The clinical implications of the height of the peak level and the chronicity of exposure are unknown, but may be particularly relevant to occupationally exposed populations such as cashiers, who handle receipts 40 or more hours per week,” the authors write.

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