Hidden dangers of receips and dockets printed on thermal paper

Ever wondered how these thermal papers for your fax machine or supermarket docket work?
Nothing that is printed by fast machines for you these days uses ink when it comes to cheaply producing a parking docket for example.
If you played around with these papers you already know they turn black when you apply heat.
A soldering iron at low heat makes a nice pencil on them...

But what if you pet or kid loves to play with these papers?
Often they like do just jast with the receipt for your fast food if found inside the bag ;)
Most people would not consider a piece of paper as a health risk, but for thermal paper this can often be a different story.
A lot of these papers still use bisphenol in one form or the other to develop the ink from crystal clear to black.
Feel free to read up on it on Wikipedia - I recommend it!
They also have more info on the thermal paper itself, including alternatives to bisphenol.

Although recent studies are in favour of the thermal paper, when handled correctly some also show an increased risk for those dealing with a lot of paper - like the people working at cash registers in a really busy shop.
Bisphenol can get into the body through the skin and by ingestion - for example when your kid tries to chew on it.
As noone really knows where the paper you got came from it is a guessing game to figure out if it is free of harmful chemicals...
So the best option is to avoid exposure when possible.
If you know your kids or pets might to try eating some paper then make sure you don't leave any thermal paper around where they could reach it.

But there is good news too as more and more countries try to set standards for thermal paper in regards to harmful chemical levels and protective coatings.
Cheap paper for almost any priter out there can always be ordered from asia to avoid higher costs of local and safe paper though...


Kiteman7 months ago

My biggest issue with thermal receipts is impermanence - they become black and unreadable after very little handling or pocket-time.

Yonatan247 months ago

Oh, so I shouldn't eat the receipts? I always do my best to get the best bang for my buck, and the receipts are additional calories! It adds up!

;)