States are now moving to ban the chemical BPA from food and drink containers, primarily those meant for infants and toddlers, because of health concerns. A dozen states are considering restrictions this year on bisphenol A, which most of you will recall is an estrogen-like chemical used to harden plastics in products such as bottles and cups. It is also in the linings of metal cans, including infant formula, to help them withstand high sterilization temperatures.
As we reported, the Food and Drug Administration, which previously called BPA safe, announced in January that, in light of new studies, it has “some concerns” about the chemical’s potential effects on brain development of fetuses, infants and children. It did not say BPA is unsafe. That announcement added momentum to the efforts in Congress to “restrict the uses of this dangerous chemical once and for all,” says Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) sponsor of a pending bill to ban BPA from food and drink containers. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has a similar proposal in the Senate.
Concerned groups, including the Environmental Working Group and the Natural Resources Defense Council, cite studies that link BPA to breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. States should get involved since at this juncture BPA is not federally regulated. More parents are concerned and major retailers have stopped selling baby bottles with BPA. That latter development is very significant.
Last year, Connecticut and Minnesota passed the first state bans on BPA in food and drink containers intended for children age three and younger. Chicago and Suffolk County, New York, took similar action. Canada became the first country to ban BPA use in baby bottles. It was reported that bills are also pending in Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington, D.C. It’s time for Congress to pass legislation to require BPA to be regulated. In the meanwhile, due to the stalemate in Congress, the states should continue with their efforts.
Source: USA Today
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