Letters to the Editor

Tom Brown takes quick action | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

I am writing to publicly thank Tom Brown, manager of Payless grocery store in Freeland, for acting in the public interest and for being a responsible employer.

At issue is the far-ranging use of BPA (Bisphenol A — a major endocrine disruptor) in cash register receipts.

In 2010, the Washington State Legislature outlawed the use of BPA in a variety of products because of the very negative health effects it has on people; the Puget Consumer Coop (PCC) Newsletter recently reported that cash register tape/receipts contain 250 to 1,000 times more BPA than other products containing BPA that have been outlawed for their toxicity. PCC thus advises consumers to not handle their receipts.

Concerned about customers and Payless’ cashiers alike, I called Tom Brown and asked if he could do something about removing BPA from Payless cash register receipts (the use of BPA in receipts is currently the overwhelming norm). Tom agreed this was a problem. We both did some research, and as of December 2010, Payless has gone to a new system of receipts using Appleton paper, or regular bond paper, and the receipt is now actually printed and not “sprayed on” with a BPA-laden ink.

Tom Brown did not have to go to this trouble to protect his staff and customers, especially since currently this is a largely hidden issue. The fact that he cared enough to act on behalf of all of us makes him a “Hometown Hero” in my book.

Julie Glover


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