When Zach Koutsky heard his wife’s doctor tell her to avoid handling store receipts to prevent her baby from being exposed to poisonous chemicals, Koutsky realized the common item posed a serious health threat.
Most traditional retail receipts are printed on heat-sensitive paper, which do not use ink but instead trigger a chemical reaction between Bisphenol A, known as BPA, or bisphenol S, known as BPS, and the paper.
Scientists have long known BPA can mimic estrogen when it enters the human body, disrupting hormone levels, as well as reportedly contributing to diseases like diabetes, asthma and cancer.
Koutsky said his wife’s doctor said “[She] shouldn’t touch movie theater receipts, parking tickets, airplane boarding passes.” So Koutsky, the legislative and political director for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881, began snatching the receipts at the check-out counter.
But Koutsky soon realized he could be putting himself at risk.
“And who do I represent?” Koutsky said of his work for UFCW. “People who touch hundreds of these a day.”
HB 2076, sponsored by freshman State Rep. Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), would ban the use of BPA-lined receipts in Illinois.