Minnesota BPA Ban Now in Force

A <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A—BPA—ban in sippy cups and baby bottles is now in effect in the state of Minnesota. The ban became effective January 1, 2010, reported Daily Finance.

Laws are in place or coming into effect in a variety of states and counties in the United States in which the sale of certain products containing the polycarbonate has been banned, for instance, baby bottles, food containers, and sippy cups. Canada was the first country to announce plans to ban BPA, calling it a toxin; some retailers and manufacturers have announced plans to stop making products containing the chemical.

Now, said Daily Finance, four states are also looking at a ban; two bills are seeking a national ban. According to Daily Finance, Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a House bill and two democratic senators—Dianne Feinstein of California and Chuck Schumer of New York proposed a Senate bill. Also, in addition to Canada, the European Union has implemented a complete ban on BPA.

BPA was developed in the 1930s as an estrogenic mimicker. The chemical appears to wreak havoc on the body’s endocrine system. In urine tests, BPA is found in the overwhelming majority of Americans, more than 93 percent and, significantly, the chemical is found in 90 percent of all newborns. This is a significant concern given that BPA has been connected to increased risks of brain, reproductive, cardiac, and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; and links with serious health problems.

Studies have overwhelmingly found BPA to have negative effects at doses lower than current FDA 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 some feel can be passed to future generations. Recent reports link high levels of exposure to BPA to erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in males.

Another study, said Daily Finance, conducted by the Yale School of Medicine, found that “nonhuman primates” exposed to BPA levels deemed safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) experienced “interference with brain cell connections,” that appeared to be BPA-associated.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which had long maintained BPA is safe, missed all of its 2009 deadlines on advising the public on the safety of products manufactured with the controversial chemical, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (JSOnline) previously reported. The estrogenic, industrial chemical—a polycarbonate plastic byproduct—is found in many common consumer products.

Industry has long argued that scientists and advocates exaggerate BPA’s adverse effects, continually citing two industry studies; however, at last count, over 900 peer-reviewed studies found links between BPA and such effects. The FDA declared the chemical safe for all usage as of August 2008, said JSOnline; however, the agency’s science board recommended it had not looked at enough of the studies and began its review, setting last year’s now-missed deadline.

Not waiting on the government and its agencies, a variety of manufacturers have, or are, voluntarily imposing internal bans on the chemical. As we’ve written and Daily Finance noted, baby bottle makers Avent, Gerber, and Playtex stopped using BPA in bottles last year and Sunoco publicly announced it was ceasing sales of BPA to companies looking to use BPA in plastic products geared for children three years of age and under. Companies who buy BPA from the oil and chemical company must guarantee BPA will not be used on products for this demographic.

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