Senator Feinstein Urges Governor Schwarzenegger to sign Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act
-Bill would protect babies and toddlers from potentially harmful effects of Bisphenol A-
Aug 23 2010
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today urged Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act to protect babies and toddlers from the potentially harmful health effects of Bisphenol A (BPA).
The legislation is expected to come to the governor’s desk in the coming weeks.
BPA is a known endocrine disruptor and is used to make polycarbonate and epoxy resins. It is found in a wide variety of consumer products, including water bottles and baby bottles and it is also used to line the inside of metal food and beverage containers.
Research shows that when in the human body, BPA acts like an estrogen. It also has been linked to a variety of serious health effects, including cancer, diabetes, early onset puberty, hyperactivity, lowered sperm count and miscarriage. Infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable to this chemical.
The bill would ban the use of BPA in children’s food and beverage containers in California. Eight other states have already signed into law legislation that bans the use of BPA in certain children’s products: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
Following is the text of Senator Feinstein’s letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger:
August 23, 2010
The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:
I am writing about an important bill that is needed to protect the health of California’s children. The Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act (SB-797) would protect babies and toddlers from the potentially harmful health effects of bisphenol A (BPA). I expect this bill will be coming to your desk in the upcoming weeks, and I hope that you will sign it.
As you may know, BPA is a chemical widely used in the production of certain plastics and has been linked to negative health problems, including brain and behavioral disorders, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Babies and children are particularly at risk to the harmful health effects of BPA because of their developing bodies and their smaller size.
This bill would ban the use of BPA in children’s food and beverage containers in California, and is a practical and reasonable way to protect California’s kids. Eight other states have already signed into law legislation that bans the use of BPA in certain children’s products: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Major manufacturers are already phasing out BPA from children’s bottles and cups, and developing alternative packaging for baby food and infant formula. At least four major baby food and formula manufacturers – Nestle, Similac, Enfamil, and Gerber – already offer BPA-free alternatives. At least twelve manufacturers – Avent, BornFree, Disney First Years, Eden Foods, Evenflow, Gerber, Handi-Craft Company, Munchkin, Playtex, The First Years, Think Baby and Tupperware Brands – either offer some BPA-free alternative or have banned its use altogether. Even major retailers – such as CVS, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, Sears and Safeway – sell only BPA-free baby bottles and cups.
The startling results of a study published in Pediatrics on August 9 reinforces my concern about the continued use of BPA in products targeted towards children and babies. This study found that girls today are more likely to start puberty by age 7 or 8. It is difficult to determine the exact causes of early puberty, but the researchers said they suspect environmental chemicals are playing a role and are studying further how endocrine disruptors, such as BPA, influence the onset of puberty.
More research is necessary to determine the harm that BPA poses to human health, but until we know more, we need to err on the side of caution and remove this potentially harmful substance from our products. It is critical we act now to protect the most vulnerable, our infants and toddlers, from this harmful chemical.
I would be grateful for your support when this bill comes to your desk for signature.