New York’s Suffolk County has become the first one in the United States to ban retailers from issuing register receipts that contain Bisphenol-A (BPA). The legislation, called the Safer Sales Slip Act, will prohibit the harmful chemical, which has been linked to a long list of potential health problems, from being used in area cash register receipts going forward.
BPA is a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the hormone system causing health problems such as cancer, reproductive problems, obesity and learning disabilities. Research has shown that “large quantities” of BPA (up to 2.2% of the weight of the receipt) can be found in many thermal paper receipts. Smaller amounts were also found on dollar bills, presumably from physical contact with the receipts.
“Refrain from taking receipts at ATMs, gas stations, and other retail stores,” cautions Dr. Phillip Landrigan, a past Heart of Green Award winner for his work to protect children from toxic chemicals. “Choose paperless receipts, if possible. Wash hands thoroughly after touching receipts, especially before preparing or eating food. Do not give children receipts to hold or play with. Store receipts separately in a change purse or wallet. Do not recycle cash receipts, as BPA can contaminate other recycled paper.”
Landrigan praised the Safer Sales Slip Act as a good model for future legislative initiatives involving harmful chemicals. The hope is that after the legislation goes into effect, we’ll no longer have to worry about some of these concerns.
Via The Daily Green