- Senator plans legislation banning chemical from food and beverage containers -
Mar 06 2009
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded the decision by six manufacturers to stop using the chemical Bisphenol-A in baby bottles they sell in the United States.
Bisphenol-A, commonly referred to as BPA, is found in a wide variety of everyday household items, including plastic beverage containers and compact discs. Research shows that BPA has been linked to a variety of serious health effects, including early onset of puberty, hyperactivity, lowered sperm count and miscarriage.
The six companies decided to ban the chemical after attorneys general in Connecticut and New Jersey wrote to the bottle makers last October and asked them to voluntarily stop using the chemical. The six companies are: Avent, Disney First Years, Gerber, Dr. Brown, Playtex and Evenflow.
“I applaud these manufacturers for their decisive action to protect children’s health. By removing Bisphenol-A from baby bottles, every parent can be sure that their young children are protected from this potentially harmful chemical,” Senator Feinstein said.
“This move illustrates a growing realization among industry that BPA should not be used in many products, especially those designed for young children. Scientific studies have linked BPA to a variety of neural, behavioral and other health effects in fetuses, infants and young children at currently accepted exposure levels.
“It is my sincere hope that other companies will follow this lead and remove this chemical from the items they produce. In addition, I intend to soon introduce legislation that will ban BPA from all food and beverage containers.”
Last month, a federal ban on another series of chemicals called phthalates, took effect. The ban, sponsored by Senator Feinstein, was included in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Phthalates are found in a variety of children’s toys and childcare products that are frequently put in a child’s mouth, such as teethers, rubber ducks and soft books. They are also found in a number of common household items such as vinyl shower curtains and nail polish.
Phthalates interfere with the functioning of the hormone system, and can cause reproductive defects. Young children are particularly vulnerable.
Specifically, the legislation:
- Imposes a permanent ban on three dangerous phthalates (DEHP, DBP and BBP) in toys for children ages 12 and under, and childcare items for children ages 3 and under.
- Imposes an interim ban on three additional phthalates (DINP, DIDP, DnOP) in toys for children ages 12 and under that are small enough to be sucked or chewed by a child, and in any childcare items for children three and under.