Here’s something you might want to add to your grocery shopping list: Check your receipts. As in, for potentially hazardous environmental toxins. Most of the paper they’re printed on is coated with Bisphenol A, or BPA, an endocrine-disrupting chemical that’s commonly known to pop up in plastic bottles, straws, and thousands of other grocery store items—and it’s the reason many people are swigging water from stainless steel or glass bottles, and opting for glass containers for their leftovers.
Every time you’re handed a receipt, you might be exposed to a little bit of BPA—but grocery giant Trader Joe’s is making moves to edge out the competition of go-to healthy shopping spots by eliminating phenol chemicals like BPA and BPS from its paper receipts. The chemicals, which can quickly absorb through your skin and enter your bloodstream, are a widespread problem: A new study found 93 percent of 208 register receipts tested contained them. Past studies have shown the chemicals—also found in items like baby bottles—could potentially affect your hormone levels or increase your risk of diabetes and obesity.
“We are now pursuing receipt paper that is free of phenol chemicals (including BPA and BPS), which we will be rolling out to all stores as soon as possible.” —Trader Joe’s
In a recent statement, the store claimed it is “now pursuing receipt paper that is free of phenol chemicals (including BPA and BPS), which we will be rolling out to all stores as soon as possible.” And beyond receipts, Trader Joe’s also committed to removing BPA from many of its products, in addition to listing the items that still do contain the chemicals on its website.
The grocer behind cult-beloved cauliflower-based products and turmeric-laced chocolate is likely just the first of many companies to make it a mission to ban chemicals from receipts. But until those tides officially turn, consider taking advantage of receipt-managing apps (Expensify is a good place to start), so you can scan what you need and get rid of the toxic paper trail ASAP.
Here’s what you should know about the chemicals lurking in your home. Also, check out this beginner’s guide to reading a beauty-product label.