Suffolk County, NY Bans BPA in Cash Register Receipts

Published January 29, 2013

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, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed the act into law. 

Clean Bill of Health

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.”  

Political Alarmism

The Safe Sales Slip Act follows a 2009 county law banning the sale of baby products containing BPA. 
Legislator Tom Cilmi (R-East Islip) was the only Suffolk County legislator to vote against the Safe Sales Slip Act. 

The most common allegation anti-chemical activists make against BPA is that it is an endocrine disruptor. Dunn says he has thoroughly studied the published research on BPA and the assertions are nonsense because there is no conclusive scientific evidence for them. 

“The whole business of BPA and endocrine disruption is a scandal,” said Dunn. 

“There is a reason why government health agencies around the world have given BPA a clean bill of health after extensive study,” Dunn said. “The reason is exposure to trace amounts of the chemical has no negative consequences on human health.”  

Alyssa Carducci ([email protected]) writes from Tampa, Florida.