Whatever You Do, Don't Touch Your Receipt

Here's yet another reason to consider opting for an e-receipt the next time you eat out or shop. According to a new study from the University of Missouri, touching a receipt after using hand sanitizer drastically increases your body's BPA levels. Cooool.

You know how sometimes a receipt feels powdery or will change color when you hold onto it long enough? That's because most receipts are printed on thermal paper, which changes with heat. They're made with a thin coating of powder that contains an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can be absorbed through your body, especially if you've recently used hand sanitizer (because it has a chemical that aids the absorption of the liquid).

In the study, researchers had ten volunteers each use hand sanitizer and then hold unused receipt paper in their hands for four minutes. The subjects then consumed a basket of French fries. Fast forward an hour and a half later: researchers took blood and urine samples to compare baseline BPA levels. They found that blood levels in some volunteers skyrocketed ten times than what they were originally. What's more is that they found a person didn't need to hold the receipt for four minutes, they just needed a quick 45 seconds to have the same reaction.

In case you weren't aware of the negative effects BPA has, research has shown that it can damage women's fertility, pose danger to young children and result in neurological or hormonal disruptions. In other words, it's not good and should be avoided.

Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at Environmental Working Group, advised Allure readers to opt for an e-receipt if you have the option or keep an envelope in your purse if you absolutely need to store a paper receipt. Lastly, toss your receipts in the trash instead of recycling them and of course, do not stuff them in your purse to spread all over your other objects.

Image: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr; Giphy