There’s been a lot of debate over the safety of the chemical BPA (Bisphenol-A). And now, two new initiatives could turn the tide against companies that include the chemical in baby bottles and sippy cups used by toddlers.
In Suffolk County, New York, the county legislature has just taken a groundbreaking step, voting to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. According to this press release, the Suffolk Legislature is the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to do so. They’re still waiting to see if the county executive signs it. Other lawmakers could follow, in New York and other states. A similar bill has been introduced in the New York State Assembly.
And in Connecticut, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal also supports legislation. He recently announced that the nation’s six major baby bottle companies have agreed to stop using the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles.
Blumenthal says a voluntary BPA ban is “good, but not good enough” and that a “continued threat of BPA in other products, particularly those used by infants and children, warrants immediate legislative action to completely ban BPA from certain children’s products.”
Why are they taking action?
While the American Chemistry Council, which represents some plastics manufacturers, insists, “there are no serious or high level concerns for adverse effects of Bisphenol A on human reproduction and development” – not everyone is convinced.
The Suffolk legislature says BPA is “detectable in 93% of the population… studies have shown that leaching of BPA has serious health consequences such as…hyperactivity and learning disorders, disorders of the prostate and uterus, links to heart disease, abnormal liver function and diabetes and increased susceptibility to breast and prostate cancer.”
According to the New York State department of health, some studies have found that small amounts BPA caused developmental effects in newborn and very young laboratory animals.
Canadian officials are also concerned. According to a government website, it is the first country in the world to take action against BPA.
Besides being found in bottles and sippy cups designed for babies and young children, BPA is used in some epoxy resins used to line the interior of food and beverage cans, water bottles and other plastic containers with the number seven on them.
The Canadian government says, “The current research tells us the general public need not be concerned. However, if you want to limit your exposure, you can use glass or plastic bottles that say BPA free on them.” As Suffolk legislators point out, there are baby bottles available that are BPA free. There are similar BPA-free water bottles available for adults.