First the good news: no. Now the really terrible news: gaining another gonad is actually the least of your problems.
Turns out, the overwhelming majority of receipts are loaded with bisphenol A. Commonly called BPA, this industrial chemical has been used to make plastics since the 1960s.
- Tooth decay (seriously?)
- Cancer (it bears repeating)
- Coronary artery disease
- Impaired fetal development
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Abnormal semen parameters in men (whatever that is)
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Dear God, do I really need to keep going?
Why so toxic? Because BPA is a powerful endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen. To put it another way – exposure to BPA in any capacity alters essential hormonal and cellular functions and greatly damages the body in the ways listed above and more.
Back to the receipt dilemma. Sure, you’ve probably heard about BPA being in plastic drinking bottles, but receipts? What the what? Because of its stability and heat resistance, BPA allows for inkless printing on cash register receipts.
No doubt this is a huge convenience and cost savings for businesses, but as you now realize it's a nasty burden for consumers. Worse, it has a lingering impact.
According to your favorite publication Chemical & Engineering News: “When people handle receipts printed on thermal paper containing BPA, the chemical could linger in the body for a week or more.”
Yikes. A week or more? And you thought your in-laws overstayed.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "I'll just wash my hands right after touching the receipt." Sorry, faithful friend of LewisLovesYou, but BPA doesn't come off with soap - especially if the soap is in a plastic bottle that has sat in a hot warehouse for weeks and the BPA from the plastic leeched into the soap.
So, now I really know what you're thinking. "Lewis, you boy band hair-cutted lunatic, what the Frappucino do I do? Run like a democrat from a gun show every time someone hands me a receipt?"
2. Kindly decline receipts for small items you know you won't be returning like batteries, gum and Evolve plant-powered protein shakes that I just noticed Whole Foods is selling. #yum #govegan #whatswrongwithboybandhair
3. If you feel you must keep the receipt, simply open your grocery bag and let the service clerk drop it in and keep it in the bag. Incidentally, if you are the poor clerk who has to handle receipts all day either wear gloves or ask your manager to switch to BPA-free paper.
4. If you’re on a business trip and need receipts for your expense reports, try Expensify. It’s an easy way to instantly track purchases right from an app on your phone. Just click a photo of the receipt and it's instantly uploaded. Plus, you don't have to worry about losing the receipt.
Yeah, I know it feels overwhelming to be constantly inundated with toxic threats all around us 24/7. But wellness is about doing lots of little things well throughout the day. And something as simple as handling less receipts could have a life-saving impact. Just do your best.
At the very least, go drain your sorrows in some kombucha. Of course, pour it into glass, not plastic.