By Steve Milloy
There’s a new tale to be told in the annals of corporate greenwashing — so-called “BPA-free” cash register receipts.
Over the last year or so, environmental extremists have been promoting a health scare over cash-register receipts manufactured with a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA).
Never mind that there is no scientific evidence showing that anyone, including workers in BPA manufacturing plants, has ever been harmed or feminized by BPA, despite its widespread use for more than 50 years.
Never mind that any minute amounts of BPA to which cash register workers and consumers might be exposed are rapidly metabolized by the body into harmless and non-estrogenic by-products
And never mind that the BPA scare has been entirely fueled by disreputable activist-researchers, extreme environmental activist groups that have no track record of appropriately alerting the public to a genuine health threat, and class action trial lawyers.
Never mind all that because the scare has taken hold and has created a market for “BPA-free” receipts.
Stepping up to fill the market “need” is Wisconsin-based Appleton Papers, which has substituted a chemical called bisphenol sulfonate (BPS) for BPA. “We decided that’s not a chemical we want to use,” an Appleton exec told Science News. And so Appleton switched to bisphenol sulfonate because the U.S. EPA deems it to be an acceptable substitute for BPA.
However, BPS also exhibits estrogenic activity that is comparable to BPA. That’s right, inconveniently for Appleton and the EPA, it’s the “BP” part of the molecule, not the “A” or the “S” that imparts the estrogenic activity.
So while a BPA-free cash register receipt may not be made with bisphenol A, endocrine disrupter worryworts should take little comfort if it’s been replaced by BPS.