Credit card receipts pose cancer risk: new report

Dan MacGuill
Dan MacGuill - [email protected]
Credit card receipts pose cancer risk: new report
Photo: The Local

Checking the bill for the weekly shopping, or fingering through credit card receipts from the night before is never good for you, but a new French report is expected to warn that the print-outs actually pose a potentially serious health risk.


We’ve always known bills and receipts were bad for mental health, and most of us will have suffered mild heart palpitations at looking at the last night's ATM withdrawal slip and credit card receipts.

However, according to French radio RTL a study by a French sanitary safety agency is expected to report this week that these print-outs could pose a more serious risk to our physical health than to our state of mind.

Anses, France’s national agency for sanitary safety, looks set to declare that bisphenol, a chemical compound involved in the printing of supermarket receipts and ATM tickets, is an ‘endocrine disruptor' that can cause hormonal imbalances, which could then lead to cancer and birth defects.

Bisphenol is a compound involved in what's known as 'thermal printing', which avoids the use of ink.

According to the report certain professionals are more at risk than others.

The danger is worst for pregnant women who work in an environment – such as a supermarket or bank – where they handle bisphenol-laden print-outs hundreds of times every day.

Complications arising from contact with the chemical – which permeates the skin – can even extend to a higher risk of cancer or infertility in the child.

What’s worse, wearing rubber gloves makes no difference, according to a report on France’s RTL radio on Monday.

However, thankfully the report is expected  to conclude that most of us, who get a receipt or an ATM ticket a few times a week, will only be exposed to such a low level of bisphenol that we will not be at risk.

That’s not to say, however, that supermarket and credit card receipts won’t continue to cause headaches, nausea and heartburn for the foreseeable future.


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