Coughing Cashier? New POS Printers Can Trigger Asthma

IT may not the only ones allergic to integrating new POS systems. A report in the May 28 New England Journal of Medicine found that some cashiers have been showing asthma symptoms after new POS installations, as they apparently react to chemicals on the receipt paper.

"The machines print on thermal paper coated with a chemical called N-propyl-acrylamide and acrylate tints," said a report on the article in Health Day. "After performing all tests, we demonstrated that our patient was sensitized, meaning she is allergic to a specific substance, in this case, acrylates contained in the thermal paper." Now there's a TCO factor that most IT departments would have overlooked: the potential for increased sick time and lower productivity. Maybe upgrade the POS system but keep the old printers?