Making Legislative Change

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 Safer Sales Slips

Brian Lahiff,Suffolk Child Care Council; Elsa Ford, Brentwood/Bayshore Breast Cancer Coalition; SC Legislator Steve Stern; SC Exec Steve Bellone; Karen Joy Miller, Prevention Is The Cure (Campaign of Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition); Shelby Poole, Owner of Jackson's Restaurant

April G Hannan Jan 4, 2012

January 3rd, Suffolk County passed a measure that bans using receipts coated with the chemical Bisphenol A, BPA. The Safer Sales Slip Act is a first in the nation ban.

Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern's Safer Sales Slip Act was signed into law by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone at Jackson’s Restaurant, a local business that is committed to using BPA-free cash register receipts to protect public health. This law prohibits the use of thermal sales receipts that contain the chemical BPA. BPA has been connected to a myriad of health problems for adults, children and unborn babies. Research shows connections to cancers of the breast and prostate, endocrine disorders, learning disabilities, obesity and diabetes. BPA enters the body through the skin and hand to mouth contact, and is detectable in more than 93% of the population. 

Businesses will have a one year grace period to switch over to alternative before penalties come in to affect.

Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern noted for his successful public health initiatives, has worked closely with Karen Joy Miller, founder of Prevention Is The Cure, an initiative of the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition regarding health issues of BPA.  Prevention Is The Cure emphasizes the elimination of the causes of cancer.

In 2009, the Suffolk County Legislature lead the nation in prohibiting the use of BPA in baby bottles and other beverage containers used by children under three. Thanks to County Executives like Steve Bellone and Legislators like Steve Stern, Suffolk County continues to lead the nation, protecting public health by passing The Safer Sales Slip Act in to law.

Toxic Baby Bottles

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HUNTINGTON, NY – The Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved Legislator Steve Stern’s (D-Huntington) groundbreaking legislation to protect babies and toddlers from ingesting the synthetic estrogen Bisphenol-A (BPA), contained in hard plastics used in baby bottles and “sippy” cups designed for young children.

The legislation was supported by medical professionals and public health and environmental advocates. Suffolk County is believed to be the first jurisdiction in the nation to ban the sale of infant and toddler drinking items that contain BPA. “Suffolk County has always taken the lead in protecting public health,” Legislator Stern said. “We must follow the precautionary principle and be pro-active, especially when the health of our most vulnerable citizens, our babies and young children, is at risk and safe alternatives are available. This legislation will help reduce unnecessary exposure to a substance linked with multiple health risks.”

BPA has been linked to endocrine and hormonal abnormalities in babies and young children and is detectable in 93% of the population. Numerous independent scientific studies have shown that leaching of BPA has serious health consequences such as neurobehavioral disorders, including hyperactivity and learning disorders, disorders of the prostate and uterus, links to heart disease, abnormal liver function and diabetes and increased susceptibility to breast and prostate cancer.

“This new law is an important initiative that will re-shape environmental policy and will serve as an example for the entire nation,” according to Karen Joy Miller, Director of the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition-Prevention is the Cure.” “BPA is linked to abnormalities of the male reproductive system, early puberty and obesity. This measure will help protect future generations.”

There are safe alternatives to BPA. Mass market retailers such as Babies “R” Us have removed infant and toddler products containing BPA from their shelves and Canada has also banned the sale of such products. ‘We have never been afraid of challenging the status quo, particularly when it comes to the priority of ensuring our children’s health,” Legislator Stern said. “We strongly believe that this new law will have a significant impact in protecting the health of our young children by removing products containing BPA from the store shelves in our community.”