The states of Washington, Connecticut and Minnesota, as well as Suffolk County, N.Y., have introduced legislation that would ban the use of bisphenol A in baby bottles and other products intended for children age 3 and younger.
Similar legislative initiatives in more than a dozen states and at the federal level were unsuccessful in 2008.
However, in October, Health Canada said it would draft regulations to ban the import and sales of baby bottles containing BPA.
The chemical is used in the manufacture of polycarbonate water bottles, food packaging and the liners of metal cans, including baby formula, and numerous other products including bicycle helmets. Some studies have linked BPA to birth defects, low birth weights, cancer, early puberty and other health problems.
Despite criticism by its own science board, the Food and Drug Administration has said it does not have enough evidence to propose a regulatory ban. However, Janet Nudelman, director of public policy and programs for the Breast Cancer Fund in San Francisco, said that U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., plan to reintroduce bills banning BPA after Congress passes an economic stimulus package.
Everything is bogged down while they take care of that, Nudelman said.
The broadest proposed BPA ban is HB-5499 in Connecticut, which would prohibit the sale of any children's products containing BPA and intended for children ages 3 and younger. The Minnesota bill, HF-326, would ban any children's product that contains BPA, starting Jan. 1, 2010. The Washington state proposal, HB-1180, would ban the manufacture, sale and distribution of any baby bottle, cup or container with BPA, beginning July 1, 2010. The Suffolk County bill, scheduled for a March 3 vote, would ban the sale of any children's beverage container that contains BPA.
The Minnesota bill defines children's products as any product to be used by a child as a toy, to facilitate feeding or that can be introduced into the part. In addition, the measure would create a ban on infant formula containers, starting Jan. 1, 2013.
The Washington bill further directs the state Department of Ecology to determine by July 1, 2012, whether safer alternatives exist to replace BPA in cans, jars and other containers that hold liquids, foods, or beverages for human consumption.
The bill also gives the department the green light to presume safe alternatives are available, in the absence of persuasive evidence to the contrary, if the sale of a product containing BPA has been banned by other states in the U.S, if a safer alternative is sold in the U.S. and doesn't contain a chemical defined as a high priority concern for children.