BPA Will Likely Be On Washington State's List Of Toxins

The fight to eliminate dangerous, <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">toxic chemicals in children’s products continues, with Washington State having passed a law last year mandating manufacturers to report if specific products contain such products, writes the Associated Press (AP). Washington State was the first state to pass such a law: The Children’s Safe Product Act.

Unfortunately, although the deadline passed nine months ago, the state is nowhere near creating a top 50 list of those chemicals manufacturers would have to disclose, said the AP. Officials created a list of 2,000 from some 80,000 chemicals known to cause cancer and interfere with fetal development, to name two, said the AP.

According to officials in Washington State, a hiring freeze and budget cuts were blamed, as was the challenge in whittling down a list of thousands to those 50 most harmful to children, said the AP. “It’s been quite a bit harder than we anticipated,” said Carol Kraege, the state’s toxics policy coordinator. “We are late, and we’re doing as much as we can do,” quoted the AP. Maine, Connecticut, and Minnesota have put forth similar legislation, said the AP.

Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (Democrat-Seattle), lead sponsor of the law in Washington State, said that bisphenol A—BPA—will likely be one of the toxins named, reported the AP. Mercury will also probably make the list; however, because they are federally regulate, lead and phthalates will not, pointed out the AP.

BPA, an estrogen mimicker, has long been connected to a wide variety of adverse effects, including increased risks of brain, reproductive, cardiac, and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; links with serious health problems. Studies have overwhelmingly found BPA to have negative effects at doses lower than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) current standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of the containers’ temperature; and longer lasting damage, which can be passed to future generations.

With laws either in effect coming into effect; Connecticut (October 1, 2011), Minnesota (January 1, 2010); Chicago, Illinois (January 31, 2010); and Suffolk County, New York (effective this July), have or are banning the sale of polycarbonate baby bottles, food containers, and cups containing BPA, reported PlasticsNews, previously. Limited bans are in place in Schenectady County in upstate New York—a similar measure was recently passed by Albany County legislators and takes effect January 1. Twenty-four states have bills in the works; Canada was the first country to announce plans to ban BPA, calling it a toxin. The Connecticut ban, noted PlasticsNews, applies to infant formula cans and reusable food and beverage containers, as well.

Yesterday we wrote that the California bill to ban BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups, and food containers failed—again—to meet the required 41 votes in the state Assembly and has been put off until next year.

Industry believes that scientists and consumer advocates are exaggerating the adverse effects of the plastic-hardening, estrogenic chemical, continually citing two industry studies. But, points out the LA Times, previously, over 200 peer-reviewed studies have linked BPA to health problems.

The AP reported that Washington State will look for public comment in October and plans on coming up with its top 50 list by spring 2010.

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