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Great news for human health and those of us who believe in real science - following up on last week's news that six major manufacturers will stop selling baby bottles containing the dangerous industrial chemical BPA, legislation was introduced yesterday in the US House by Edward Markey (D-MA) and in the US Senate by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) that would ban bisphenol A from all food and drink containers in the US -

The move came a day after Sunoco, the gas and chemical company, sent word to investors that it is now refusing to sell bisphenol A, known as BPA, to companies for use in food and water containers for children younger than 3. The company told investors that it cannot be certain of the chemical compound's safety. Last week, six baby-bottle manufacturers, including Playtex and Gerber, announced that they will stop using BPA in bottles.

Crossposted from La Vida Locavore, more below the fold...

Note the bolded part of the quote above the fold.  That's where we have to go next - can we actually take the next step (as Europe has), and test chemicals before they're introduced for widespread use in common everyday products?

BPA is a known endocrine disruptor commonly used in the production of many household items, from baby bottles to plastic food containers to soup cans to dental fillings; and exposure via tap water and house dust is now also thought possible.  Many studies have linked long term, low-level BPA exposure to everything from increased risks for obesity by triggering fat-cell activity, to diabetes, heart disease and an increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life from fetal exposure.

Tests have found toxic levels of the chemical in products, including those marked as "microwave safe."

The amounts detected were at levels that have caused neurological and developmental damage in laboratory animals. The problems include genital defects, behavioral changes and abnormal development of mammary glands.

What is the definition of "microwave safe", btw?

It's long past time we moved towards ensuring a safer food supply, and this bill would be a great first step towards that.

Here's the link (pdf) to the text of the bill

Summary -

The Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2009 requires that:

  • Reusable beverage containers (including baby bottles and thermoses) that contain Bisphenol A cannot be sold;

  • Other food and beverage containers (such as canned food or formula) containing BPA cannot be introduced into commerce.

If a manufacturer can show that there is no technology available to make a particular food or beverage without the use of BPA, the FDA can issue renewable one-year waivers to the ban for that particular food or beverage. However, the food or beverage container must be labeled indicating that BPA was used.  The manufacturer also must submit a proposal for how it plans to comply with the ban in the future.

The FDA also must periodically review the list of substances that have been deemed safe for manufacturing food and beverage containers, to determine whether new scientific evidence exists that these substances may pose adverse health risks.

This legislation will not preempt stronger state standards. The ban would take effect 180 days from enactment of the legislation.

A link to my previous BPA piece is here.

Originally posted to Hardhat Democrat on Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 01:29 PM PDT.

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