Connecticut BPA Ban Moves Forward

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King movie The Connecticut State House has agreed, in an overwhelming vote, to ban <"">bisphenol A (BPA) from plastic containers used by children and babies, reports the Hartford Courant. The ban does not take effect until October 1, 2011 and involves only a limited array of products, according to the Courant.

This was the second BPA debate in the Connecticut State House in 2009. The Senate passed the bill in a 35-to-1 vote and the House passed it in a unanimous vote of 135-0. The ban now encompasses “reusable food and beverage containers, including containers of infant formula and baby food, reusable spill-proof cups, plastic sports bottles and Thermoses,” reported the Courant. The bill does not address products geared to the general population, beverage containers, and single-use jars and cans.

The bill’s prior version included a labeling requirement for containers not included in the ban. That version had passed House last month by 128-to-14; however the Connecticut Senate eliminated the requirement, forcing another House vote, explained the Courant. East Harford Democratic Senator Gary LeBeau said the requirement for labeling was “a little heavy-handed on business … another mandate on retailers and producers of bottles and cans,” quoted the Courant. The bill allows for existing inventory to be sold off.

As we previously reported, a newly released study confirmed what experts have long suspected – that containers made with BPA leach the chemical into the liquids being held, said the LA Times.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, BPA exposure has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals and has been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans. Despite industry’s arguments that BPA is safe at current dosages, the ever-present chemical, an estrogen mimicker, has also been linked to an increased risk of diseases or disorders of the brain, reproductive, and immune systems; problems with liver function testing; and interruptions in chemotherapy treatment. BPA is also associated with serious health problems based on 130 studies conducted in the past decade and newer research found BPA to have negative effects at “very low doses,” lower than the FDA’s current safety standards.

Most recently, studies revealed BPA seems to stay in the body longer than previously believed. BPA can be found virtually everywhere and is present in detectable levels in just about every human body. The highest levels are seen, noted the Chicago Tribune in a prior report, in the youngest Americans. A concern since BPA is known to leach in increased doses when containers made of the dangerous chemical are heated, as is often the case with baby bottles.

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Meanwhile, the FDA continues to maintain BPA is safe despite that it relied solely on two industry-funded studies for its draft review, something for which the agency has long been criticized.

BPA is used in the manufacture of polycarbonate and other hard plastic products, including water and baby bottles, sippy cups, dental sealants and composites, and the linings used for canned foods, among many other common items. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives reported that in 2003, the majority—three-quarters—of the nearly two billion pounds of BPA used in the United States was for manufacture of polycarbonate resin.

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