Aug 11 2008
Senators Feinstein and Boxer Urge California Legislature to Pass Bill Banning Toxic Chemical from Children’s Products
- State bill would ban use of Bisphenol A in baby bottles and other feeding devices -
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (both D-Calif.) today called on the California State Assembly to pass legislation that would prohibit the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles, sippy cups and other feeding devices for children ages three and younger.
Senators Feinstein and Boxer have co-sponsored federal legislation that would ban BPA from children’s products as well as require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the health effects of BPA in children and adults.
Last month, Congress passed a measure sponsored by Senator Feinstein and championed by Senator Boxer in a House-Senate conference committee, which bans another toxic chemical, phthalates, from children’s toys and childcare articles. The measure was included in the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act, which has been sent to President Bush for his signature.
Following is the text of the letter sent by Senators Feinstein and Boxer to the Honorable Karen Bass, speaker of the California State Assembly:
August 11, 2008
The Honorable Karen Bass
California State Assembly
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249
Dear Speaker Bass:
We are writing to encourage you to pass the Toxin-Free Toddlers and Babies Act, S.B. 1713. This legislation would prohibit the use of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles, sippy cups, formula cans and other feeding devices for children three and under.
As you may know, Congress recently passed H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act. One of the most important provisions of this new law would permanently ban three types of phthalates from children's toys and child care articles, and outlaw three other phthalates from toys and certain other children’s products pending an extensive study of their health effects in children and pregnant women. California’s phthalate ban, signed into law last year, served as the model for this provision.
The prompt passage of S.B. 1713 would continue our state’s leadership in protecting children from dangerous chemicals, especially as concerns about the safety of BPA mount. A draft report from the National Toxicology Program, which is housed in the National Institutes of Health, found that BPA may be linked to a variety of neural, behavioral, and certain other effects in fetuses, infants and children at current exposure levels, as well as the early onset of puberty. The scientific literature also indicates concern about BPA’s other potential hormone-mimicking effects on development.
The NTP report comes after numerous scientific studies across the world found similar health risks associated with BPA. Following a scientific review, the Canadian government has recommended a ban on BPA in baby bottles, among other steps to reduce exposure of infants and children to the chemical. U.S. water bottle manufacturer Nalgene announced that it would cease production of water bottles containing BPA. Wal-Mart announced that it was pulling baby products made with BPA from its Canadian stores immediately, and would do so in U.S. stores by the beginning of next year. And Toys “R” Us also announced it would pull baby bottles and baby feeding products containing BPA from its shelves.
Members of Congress have called on the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to reassess its safety standard for BPA, but we believe that there is enough evidence to act immediately to protect the health of our children. We have cosponsored S. 2928 in Congress to ban BPA in children’s toys and other children’s products. However, California can and should lead the way by passing S.B. 1713.
We are increasingly concerned about the risks posed by chemicals used in a variety of everyday products. While we continue to work on comprehensive chemical policy reform at the federal level, California should continue to lead by reducing children’s exposure to dangerous substances like BPA whenever possible.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.
Dianne Feinstein Barbara Boxer
United States Senator United States Senator