(CBSNEWS) — Touching cash register receipts can dramatically increase your body's absorption of a potentially dangerous chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), researchers report.
BPA, originally created as an estrogen supplement, has been linked to developmental problems in infants and children, and cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease in adults, researchers say.
The chemical is found in products ranging from plastic water bottles and food-can linings. It is also used as a print developer in thermal paper for airline tickets and store and ATM receipts, according to the researchers.
Advertisement - story continues below
"Thermal paper is typically used for cash register receipts in restaurants, making BPA contamination of food from fingers and hands likely," said lead author Julia Taylor, an assistant professor in the division of biological sciences at the University of Missouri.