BPA in Cash Register Receipts Still Poisoning Americans—and the Government Won’t Do Anything About It

May 2, 2011
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BPA cash register receiptA government agency doesn’t think your family is worth protecting from BPA in cash register receipts—that workers may be affected by it, but not consumers. Huh? Doesn’t the cashier put the receipt right into your hand? Tell them this is ridiculous with our new Action Alert!

Last August, ANH-USA filed a Citizen Petition with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to have the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) banned from thermal cash register receipts. Cash register receipts are the little-known but most common pathway for BPA into your body.

The CPSC responded by refusing to consider our petition, claiming that it did not meet their requirements based on some very flimsy reasoning: that the regulation of cash register receipts should be under the jurisdiction of worker safety (OSHA) and not consumer safety.

In early March we once again sent CPSC our petition, accompanied by a letter demanding that the agency fully consider our petition and assess it on the legal grounds and evidence that we presented to them. Their reasoning seemed especially absurd since both workers and consumers handle receipts. Anyone who handles the receipts is at risk, including consumers—so it’s not just OSHA’s territory.

CPSC has still not responded to our petition.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut legislature has introduced its own bill to ban BPA on thermal cash register receipts and require the Chemical Innovations Institute to develop an annual list of chemicals of high toxic concern.

Consumers are speaking out against BPA, and company shareholders are noticing. Twenty-six percent of Coca-Cola’s shareholders called for the company to publish a report to address consumer concerns about BPA in the epoxy linings of their cans. However, at Coke’s annual general meeting Wednesday, the CEO told shareholders that there was not enough evidence to stop using BPA in their cans. “If we had any sliver of doubt about the safety of our packaging, we would not continue to use (BPA),” he said. He used this phrase—“not a sliver of doubt”—despite the worldwide outcry against BPA , the government of Canada declaring BPA a toxic substance, and various bans in Europe.

Please contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission and ask them to reconsider our petition, and to stop giving us the runaround.

TO SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO THE CPSC

Click THIS LINK to go to the Action Alert page. Once there, fill out the form with your name and address, etc., and customize your letter. We have a suggested message for you, but please feel free to add your own comments to the letter.

We’d also love to hear your comments about this article—just add your thoughts below—but remember that the messages below are only seen by our ANH-USA readers and not Congress, the FDA, etc.

11 Responses to “BPA in Cash Register Receipts Still Poisoning Americans—and the Government Won’t Do Anything About It”

  1. Elizabeth Schreur says:

    Please ban the use of BPA in cash register receipts. We know that BPA is a dangerous chemical substance and that we shouldn’t be handling it. I am concerned about my own health and that of my co-workers as I currently work as a cashier at a small grocery store. I handle hundreds, even thousands of receipts per day because I 1. give them to the customers and 2. have to file them away on my lane for safe-keeping “just in case” purposes. I am very concerned as to what all this BPA exposure is doing to my body, if these receipts I handle are in fact made with BPA. Furthermore, I am concerned about my customers and their children as well. If it doesn’t need to be in/on the paper, then why use it!!? Please make the manufacturers stop doing this!!!

       1 likes

  2. TurtleBlue says:

    Does this apply to a particular cash register receipt? or all types? Is the BPA coming from the ink? or the paper? Thanks!

       0 likes

    • ANH-USA says:

      It is impossible to determine without lab testing which receipts contain BPA and which do not. It is a coating applied to thermal receipts. It is what gives some receipts their slick, glossy sheen. You can identify thermal receipt paper because when you run a nail or coin across the surface, it leaves a black mark. However, not all thermal papers use BPA.

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  3. RW says:

    BPA transfers from store receipts to a persons hands and then to any money that they touch. Paper money has been found to be loaded with BPA.

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  4. Alan8 says:

    This is merely one more example of how our government, hopelessly corrupted by corporate interests, no longer cares about the health of citizens.

    If you vote for either of the two mainstream corporate-funded parties, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, AND ARE PERPETUATING IT.

    Voting for a non-corporate alternative, like the Green Party or the Socialists, sends a message to the corporate parties that continuing to sell us out to corporate interests will cost them votes.

    5% of the vote for a third party will qualify them for matching Federal funds. Even single digits of the vote will send a message the corporate parties can’t ignore.

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  5. Darise says:

    Not only is there a direct transfer from the receipt. As an avid recycler I’m concerned that the recycled BPA receipts also become a part of our personal care products such as toilet paper and paper towels, and in our water

       0 likes

  6. Cuyler Brooks says:

    I am willing to consider the hazard of BPA in food – but I do not eat or even lick the receipts from thermal-printer cash registers – or even touch them much. I get a lot of things on my hands that I would not want in my mouth! Many toxic chemicals have little or not effect on the skin – is there evidence of dermal toxicity with BPA? Does it go from the receipt into the air? The only ones I keep are from putting gas in my car – I compute the miles/gallon and write it on.

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    • ANH-USA says:

      The science so far suggests that that the amount absorbed through the skin is significant, that it is indeed the primary pathway that BPA gets into our bodies. The form of BPA used in coating receipts is an unstable form compared to that used in plastic bottles and liners, and because it absorbs directly through the skin and not via the stomach and intestines, it bypasses the liver and goes directly into the bloodstream. Remember that your skin is your body’s largest organ and readily absorbs hormones into the bloodstream (the principle upon which the birth control patch, nicotine patches, and estrogen patches for menopause work). Also keep in mind that with BPA even a small amount is dangerous.

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  7. Gretchen Haire says:

    Ban BPA in the United States!!!! We as americans deserve protection but instead it’s all about making a buck!! This country is going to HELL!!!

       2 likes

  8. alma cunningham says:

    I am alarmed at this information. Please do something about this danger. I value my life.

       0 likes

  9. Archie says:

    This is a BATTLE mr&mrs&ms MUST WIN! Our very independence rests on this issue!

       0 likes

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