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EWG Public Affairs: Alex Formuzis (202) 667.6982 or alex@ewg.org

NY County Bans BPA-Laced Register Receipts

WASHINGTON - New York’s Suffolk County will soon ban retailers from issuing register receipts that contain the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA.

“This action by Suffolk County is another example of strong leadership by state and local elected leaders protecting the public from exposure to this toxic chemical while the federal government vacillates,” said Heather White, Executive Director of Environmental Working Group.

Legislator Steve Sterns (D-Huntington) authored the measure adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature.

In 2009, the Suffolk County Legislature approved a bill authored by Stern to bar the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups that contained BPA. It became the first U.S. governmental body to take action against BPA, a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the hormone system.

“Thank you to Legislator Stern and the Suffolk County Legislature for once again being a stellar role model for our entire nation by banning the estrogenic, toxic chemical BPA in sales receipts,” said Laura Weinberg, president of the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition.

In July 2010, EWG released a landmark report that found BPA in a number of receipts collected from major U.S. retailers, including Safeway, Wholefoods, CVS, Starbucks, Wal-Mart and McDonalds, to name a few.

Another groundbreaking study that week by John C. Warner, Ph.D., co-founder of the “green chemistry” movement, tested paper used to print cash register receipts at 10 suburban Boston-area stores and found measurable levels of BPA in all but two samples.

People are exposed to BPA via receipts and some food and beverage packaging. Most canned foods are packed in cans coated with BPA-based epoxy.

The federal Food and Drug Administration says it supports “reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA.” Its own research and that of independent scientists have linked multiple health problems to BPA. Even so, the agency has yet to ban the chemical from use in food and beverage packaging, including liquid infant formula.

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The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles.

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