BPA-Free Receipts: Fast Food Chains Make The Switch

Yum! Brands, the fast-food megabrand that includes Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, has announced this week it will switch to BPA-free receipts.

The health hazards of the chemical Bisphenol A, known as BPA, are well-understood. And more recently the prevalence of BPA on receipts and paper bills has been generating buzz, putting pressure on companies to take action. Kroger Supermarkets has also recently switched to BPA-free receipts.

An investigation by the Environmental Working Group found BPA on 40 percent of receipts sampled from major U.S. businesses like McDonald's, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, WalMart, Safeway -- even the post office. (Whole Foods has since gone BPA-free).

The concern? BPA, commonly found in plastic containers, can leach into food and drink. The hormone-disrupting chemical has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, cancer and infertility.

In December Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and the Washington Toxics Coalition collected and tested receipts from 20 U.S. states. According to the LA Times:

Tests showed that holding a receipt for 10 seconds could transfer as much as 2.5 micrograms of the chemical onto human skin. And 'testers transferred much higher amounts, about 15 times as much, by rubbing receipts,' the researchers reported.

The Washington Toxics Coalition offers a list of ways to avoid BPA exposure.