New York’s Suffolk County has become the first 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 the area for cash register receipts going forward.
Suffolk County, New York became the first government entity in the nation to ban Bisphenol-A from cash register receipts. The decision by the Suffolk County Legislature defies the findings of government health and science bodies around the world.
The Suffolk County Legislature voted 16-1 to approve the Safer Sales Slip Act. On January 3 2013, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed the act into law. Penalties for violating the law which comes in to effect January 3 2014 include a $500 fine for first violation, jumping to $1000 for each subsequent violation.
According to legislator Steve Stern, “Most people are unaware of the danger posed by a seemingly harmless piece of paper. This is unacceptable, when inexpensive alternatives are available and being used by many retailers”. The “Safer Sales Slip Act” will help ensure that Suffolk County residents are protected from this everyday source of exposure to BPA,” he says.
Whats The Fuss?
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is used to strengthen food and drink containers, seal food can liners, and produce thermal paper receipts. Anti-chemical activists claim BPA can threaten human health if people consume it. The world’s major government health and science bodies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Food Safety Authority, Health Canada, and Food Standards Australia New Zealand, have all found BPA safe for humans in current usage.
Gilbert Ross, medical and executive director at the American Council on Science and Health, says the many studies showing the safety of BPA render attempts to ban or restrict the chemical scientifically unjustified.
“The scientifically baseless, politically motivated ban on its use in thermal cash-register receipts is inane and a waste of resources, intellectual and financial, and will serve to benefit only those hypocritical officials trying to exploit the public’s fear of chemicals,” said Ross.
Dr. John Dale Dunn, an emergency room physician at Fort Hood, Texas, agrees BPA fears are not based on credible science.
“There is absolutely nothing to the asserted concern and scare about BPA,” Dunn said. “BPA has been studied extensively in America and Europe. It has long been a commonly used component in plastics, and there have been no negative effects.”
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