We are no longer accepting cases concerning BPA.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday that chemical bisphenol-A, also known as BPA, will no longer be used in the manufacturing of plastic used to make baby bottles and sippy cups. Banning the controversial chemical comes as a great relief to those who believe BPA may lead to adverse health events as evidenced in dozens of animal studies. This research has suggested that BPA can have an adverse effect on the development of the reproductive and nervous systems of infants and children.
The BPA attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have warned about the dangers of Bisphenol-A for nearly four years. “This is a tremendous victory for the health of infants and children,” said Ron Goldman, BPA safety advocate and senior trial attorney for Baum Hedlund. “We can be proud that we were, and are, part of the fight to make this happen. In the end, public education and then outcry overcame disingenuous chemical industry power. Profits are now subordinate to child health.”
Still, many believe that all food and beverage packaging should be free of the potentially dangerous chemical, which is currently used in hundreds of plastic items and in the resin that seals most of the canned foods available in the U.S. Research shows that roughly 90 percent of Americans have traces of BPA in their urine.
The banning of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups is a big victory for safety advocates, but many believe there is still more to do. Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would potentially ban the nationwide use of BPA in all canned food and beverage/food containers. The Natural Resources Defense Council also has petitioned to ban the chemical in all food and beverage containers but was denied by the FDA. Even after Tuesday’s announcement, the FDA maintains that more research is needed before completely banning the use of BPA.
California Governor Signs Bill Protecting Children from Toxic Chemical Bisphenol-A
October 4, 2011 — California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act, a bill that will ban Bisphenol-A, or BPA, from baby bottles and sippy cups in California. The bill, co-authored by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and Assemblymember Betsy Butler (D-Marina Del Rey), was signed despite extensive lobbying by the American Chemistry Council, the trade organization for American chemical companies and the US plastics industry.
BPA is a chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. It has been under intense criticism due to safety concerns. Several experts, scientists, and government agencies have raised concerns over the BPA exposure of fetuses, infants, and young children. Canada declared the chemical toxic in 2010. The chemical is now banned in baby bottles throughout Canada and the European Union.
“This is a significant victory,” proclaimed Senator Pavley. “I’m thrilled that Governor Brown has sided with infants instead of industry and has chosen to protect the health of California’s children.”
USA: A Federal Ban
On March 13, 2009, House and Senate leaders introduced legislation laying the groundwork for a federal ban on BPA in all food and beverage containers. The bills were introduced by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). If passed, the bills would greatly limit the chemical from products for young children. The move came a day after Sunoco, a Gas and chemical company, announced that they will not sell BPA to companies for use in food and water containers for children younger than 3.
In October 2008, Canada enacted a ban of BPA in baby bottles, becoming the first country to do so. In a press release, the Canadian government announced that it will prohibit the importation, sale, and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles that contain bisphenol A (BPA). The press release added, “The Government will also take action to limit the amount of bisphenol A that is being released into the environment.”
California: San Francisco
In 2006, San Francisco became the first American city to enact a measure to ban BPA in children’s products. Unfortunately, city officials backed off from the ordinance when a local retailer, City Kids Baby News, challenged the measure in court. A San Francisco official said any such measure would be difficult to enforce without similar state and federal laws.
On April 14, 2009, a legislative Committee in Connecticut unanimously endorsed a ban on BPA in baby bottles, food containers, and cups. If passed, the measure would restrict the making, selling, or distributing of products in Connecticut containing BPA. The measure needs to be approved by the General Assembly and signed by Governor M. Jodi Rell before it becomes law.
Delaware and New Jersey
In October 2008, the Attorney Generals of Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey came together to request that manufacturers stop selling BPA-containing products meant for infants and children (including polycarbonate baby bottles). The Attorney Generals asked 11 manufacturers to stop using the dangerous chemical. They sent letters to baby bottle manufacturers Avent America, Disney First Years, Gerber, Handicraft Co., maker of Dr. Brown’s baby bottles, Playtex Products Inc. and Evenflo Co., and formula makers Abbott, Mead Johnson, PBM Products, Nature’s One and Wyeth. In March of 2009, six of these companies – Playtex Products, Gerber, Evenflo, Avent America, Dr. Brown’s and Disney First Years – announced that they would no longer sell BPA-containing baby bottles.
Chicago, Illinois has become the first U.S. city to ban BPA. On May 13, 2009, Chicago’s City Council unanimously voted to ban bisphenol-A in baby bottles and sippy cups, becoming the first U.S. city to successfully do so. Many proponents of the ban are saying that this measure will be sending a very clear message to the rest of the country regarding the dangerous chemical. Chicago’s ban, which will go into effect in 2010, will prohibit the sale of any empty food or drink container made with BPA that is intended for use by children less than 3 years old. The State of Illinois is also considering implementing a similar measure against BPA, which has been linked to cancer, diabetes, and other ailments.
In August 2009, Massachusetts became one of the first states to warn consumers about the danger of BPA. Massachusetts public health officials issued a warning to parents of young children urging them to avoid storing infant formula or breast milk in plastic bottles containing BPA. Officials also warned pregnant or breast-feeding women to avoid using food and drink containers that contain BPA to reduce fetal or infant exposure to the common chemical, suggesting they use glass or stainless steel containers instead. The warning follows a year-long review of the chemical. Health advocates applauded the warning but urged Massachusetts officials to go one step further and ban the controversial chemical in all children’s products sold in the state.
New York: Nassau County, Long Island
Nassau County legislator and chairman of the Health and Social Services Committee, Dave Mejias, Democrat of Farmingdale, has drafted a bill similar to the Suffolk bill banning BPA baby products and plans to introduce it soon. Nassau County is in Long Island, New York.
New York: Suffolk County, Long Island
Legislators in Suffolk County, Long Island, unanimously banned BPA in baby bottles and toddler sippy cups on March 3, 2009. On April 16, the measure was signed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, making Suffolk County legislators the nation’s first governmental body to pass a BPA ban. The ban will fine retailers selling baby bottles or sippy cups containing the harmful chemical $500 for a first offense and $1000 for a second offense.
Companies and Stores Banning BPA
Retailers and manufacturers are also jumping on the BPA-free bandwagon. Gas and chemical company Sunoco, sent word to investors on March 12, 2009, that it will not sell BPA to companies for use in food and water containers for children younger than three years old. The company is the first manufacturer to do so, telling investors that it cannot be certain of BPA’s safety.
Also in March 2009, six baby-bottle manufacturers, Playtex, Gerber, Evenflo, Avent America, and Disney First Years announced that they will stop using BPA in baby bottles, thanks to the efforts of the Attorney Generals in Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey.
Retailers CVS, Target, Babies ‘R’ Us, Toys ‘R’ Us and Wal-Mart have been phasing out the chemical in their children’s products. CVS spokesman, Mike DeAngelis, said the pharmacy chain is “transitioning out of baby bottles with BPA” and should be free of them by mid-2009. A Target spokeswoman said the chain removed baby bottles and sippy cups with BPA from shelves in January of 2009. A spokesman for Babies R Us claimed all of the baby bottles and baby feeding products the company sells now are BPA-free. Back in April 18, 2008, Wal-Mart said it would stop selling baby bottles made with BPA in its U.S. stores by early 2009. Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. has also removed products containing BPA from their shelves because of the growing BPA controversy.