Restrict Bisphenol A in Thermal Store Cash Receipts
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disruptor that mimics the hormone estrogen. In laboratory animals BPA causes cell growth and mammary tumors and lesions and alters genetic processes.. Most researchers agree that low-dose exposure to BPA during vulnerable periods of human growth, especially during pre-natal development, early childhood and puberty, could predispose women and men to breast cancer and other health disorders later in life.
New York residents are regularly exposed to BPA in cash register receipts used by major retailers, grocery stores, gas stations, and bank ATM’s. BPA on thermal paper isn’t chemically bound since it is a powdery film on the surface of receipts. The BPA coating easily rubs off onto fingers, then potentially onto food, and can also penetrate the skin. Since many retailers such as Target, Whole Foods Supermarket, and Starbucks are already using BPA-free thermal paper, this route of exposure can be easily eliminated. New York State has shown exemplary leadership by passing legislation in 2010 to ban Bisphenol A (BPA) in children’s products. The New York State Breast Cancer Network urges our legislators to now ban another ubiquitous BPA exposure found in cash receipts in order to further protect the public from this unnecessary and chronic toxic exposure.
Insurance Parity of Coverage for Oral Chemotherapy Drugs
Legislation is necessary to create parity of health insurance coverage between IV infusion chemotherapy and oral chemotherapy. Such legislation, which would only pertain to private health insurance plans in New York State, should require that insurance coverage for oral chemotherapy medications must be provided on a basis no less favorable than coverage for injected or intravenously administered chemotherapy medications. Cancer treatment typically involves a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Historically, chemotherapy has been administered by IV infusion in a doctor’s office or medical facility. The past decade has seen development of oral anti-cancer drugs. Whereas IV infusion drugs are covered as a medical benefit, oral chemotherapy drugs are covered as a prescription drug benefit. This difference usually makes cost to the patient for oral chemotherapy significantly more expensive than the cost of IV infusion chemotherapy. This discrepancy may force patients to choose a less efficacious treatment merely because it is administered through infusion, or, even worse, it may force patients to forego therapy because of cost when oral chemotherapy is the only appropriate treatment.
New York State Breast Cancer Network asks New York State to recognize the importance of these newer forms of chemotherapy and to introduce and pass legislation which will guarantee patients access to the most appropriate chemotherapy treatment for their diagnosis.