I came across an article from EWG.org that reminded me of the ever pervasive chemicals around us. Specifically, it's Bisphenol A or BPA, the stuff found to leach out of Nalgene water bottles and canned food containers. Bisphenol A or BPA can act like estrogen if absorbed into the body and can cause a host of issues from infertility to cancer. Now it's shown up in receipts of all places.
Evidently thermal receipt paper is often manufactured with BPA. It does transfer to your skin from handling a receipt and may be quickly absorbed so that it can't be washed off. Most at risk individuals are those who work in retail and handle receipts hundreds of times per day.
An EWG study of receipts from US retail companies found 40% of them had high BPA levels. Some of these companies included McDonald's, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Walmart, Safeway, and the US Postal Service. Even the US House of Representatives cafeteria had high levels. Efforts are already underway to further assess this issue and the impact on individuals, as well as pressures to encourage companies to use BPA free paper. Like many issues of toxicity and the environment, it may take years or decades for policy to catch up with good science and common sense. In the mean time, stay aware and maybe just skip getting your receipt.
See EWG article here: