The cheap, thin paper that stores use for receipts contains a toxin that you can absorb through your fingers. Scientists are concerned that this potentially dangerous chemical, bisphenol S (BPS), may have unknown health effects on your body and the environment.
BPS is being used by various manufacturers to replace bisphenol A (BPA), a substance used in plastic bottles and other goods that possesses harmful estrogen-mimicking effects. But BPS, which is now in thermal paper and other products, may be just as problematic. It is likely that it is carcinogenic and causes heart problems.
According to research published in Environmental Science & Technology, 87 percent of paper money and 52 percent of recycled paper (the type used in receipts) contain BPS. They estimate that people are absorbing 19 times more BPS than BPA. And the long-term risks are unknown. People who handle thermal paper in their jobs may be absorbing much, much more.
BPS was also found in business cards, food cartons, magazines, napkins, toilet paper and envelopes, though in much smaller amounts than in thermal paper.