CEHC Provides Testimony for a Connecticut Bill that Would Ban BPA in in Cash Receipts
Andrea Wershof Schwarts, MD, MPH provided critically important testimony for Connecticut bill banning BPA in thermal receipt paper.
On February 23, Andrea Wershof Schwartz, MD, MPH, postdoctoral fellow in pediatric environmental health, wrote a testimony that outlined the harmful effects of bisphenol-A (BPA), an endocrine disrupting chemical.
Dr. Schwartz's letter of support was presented at a hearing of the Connecticut State Senate, where policy makers and health professionals provided evidence to support a bill that would prohibit the manufacture, sale, and distribution of all thermal receipt paper containing BPA in Connecticut. This letter provided critically important written testimony for determining the next step of this bill.
BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical that mimics the hormone estrogen. It is often used in plastic containers and has been found to leach into the contents of these containers, bringing BPA into the body. The National Institutes of Health has linked exposure to higher risk of breast cancer, early puberty, and lower sperm counts.
Recent studies have found high levels of BPA in cash receipts. According to a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, 40% of receipts from major corporations were found to contain BPA. When used in cash receipts, BPA is unbound to the paper, meaning that it can rub off and stick to the skin of those who touch it. Ultimately, this exposes shoppers and cashiers to higher levels of the chemical.
On March 18, the bill passed through the Environmental Committee, meaning that the bill will move forward in the Connecticut Senate. If this bill passes, it will become a law on October 1, 2013. The Hartford Courant provided a recap of the hearing.
About the Children’s Environmental Health Center
The Children’s Environmental Health Center at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City conducts research to protect children against environmental threats to health. Our investigations seek to discover the environmental causes of such diseases as asthma, learning disabilities, autism, obesity, and childhood cancer. We transmit our research to pediatricians, policy makers, parents, and all who care for children.