California and Washington are in a crowded field of states pursuing BPA bans.
The Washington State House of Representatives passed the Safe Baby Bottle Act (HB 1180) with a vote of 76-21 last week.
On Feb. 23, California introduced SB 797 (download the bill here ), which would ban BPA, which mimics estrogen in the human body, from baby bottles, sippy cups and formula containers.
The California legislation is broader than some other bans in that it goes beyond baby bottles to include canned beverages and food containers.
Washington’s Safe Baby Bottle Act will also eliminate BPA from baby bottles, sippy cups, other children’s food containers, and sports water bottles. If the legislation becomes law, Washington State would become the first state in the nation to place restrictions on BPA in children’s products.
“We need to protect babies and children against BPA,” said Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D), the primary sponsor of Washington’s bill. “The danger is here now and we must address it. A baby’s first drink from a bottle shouldn’t be contaminated with harmful chemicals.”
The legislation passed days after Suffolk County, New York passed a ban on BPA similar to the one proposed in Washington State. The Washington legislation now moves to the Senate.
The American Chemistry Council is on the defensive on BPA. Despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration declared BPA exposure was safe after relying entirely on chemistry-industry-funded studies, six major baby bottle manufacturers announced last week that they would stop producing baby bottles containing BPA.
BPA was originally synthesized in 1895 and discovered to be estrogenic in 1936. In 1957, chemists discovered another use for BPA in polycarbonate plastic. BPA has been shown in dozens of studies to disrupt the hormonal system and more than 130 studies suggest that BPA exposure at very low doses is linked to prostate and breast cancer, obesity, brain damage, lowered sperm counts and early puberty. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control found BPA present in 93 percent of people tested, with children having the highest levels.
Growing infants and children are the most vulnerable to BPA exposure, which sets the stage for later-life diseases. Last year, the chemical industry spent untold sums of money to defeat BPA regulation, including scare tactics and outright lies regarding BPA's toxicity. Parents, scientists and environmental health and justice advocates are committed to ensuring our kids are no longer exposed to this dangerous chemical and are working tirelessly in Washington, California and around the country to ensure passage of this critical legislation.
Several other states have pending BPA legislation this year, including Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Vermont.
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Chicago is moving to ban the sale of baby bottles AND other children's products containing BPA.
In February, a similar resolution was introduced but the Chicaco City Council postponed action, deferring to the FDA, which was holding a hearing about its plan for BPA. (See http://www.saferstates.com/2009/02/fda_bpa.html)
Since the FDA announced it was going to study BPA for years more, Chicago Alderman Manny Flores and Edward Burke reintroduced their ordinance.
According to a press release issued on March 17:
“Since February, the FDA has not taken any serious action in their reinvestigation of BPA,” said Flores, “Other jurisdictions, like Washington State and Suffolk County, New York, have all taken legislative steps towards protecting their residents. Chicagoans
shouldn’t have their well-being put at risk any longer.”