Upstate NY County Bans BPA

<"">Bisphenol A—BPA—the dangerous, ubiquitous estrogen-mimicking toxin that has been linked to a wide variety of adverse health events has just been banned in Schenectady County in upstate New York.

BPA is banned in Connecticut, Minnesota, Chicago, and New York’s Suffolk County. Wisconsin recently became the third state to introduce a bill to ban BPA-containing baby bottle and sippy cup sales for children and California voted on a similar bill that is in the Assembly. Key members in the U.S. House and Senate introduced legislation for a federal ban on BPA in all food and beverage containers, and 24 states have bills in the works to restrict the toxin; Canada was the first country to announce plans to ban BPA, calling it a toxin, and newly appointed U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, said the agency is reconsidering its decision that BPA is safe at current levels, especially those found in baby bottles, a decision for which the agency has faced fierce criticism.

The Times Union reported that, according to Schenectady County Legislator Brian Gordon (Democrat), an orthopedic spine surgeon and chair of the Health Committee in the upstate county, noted what is widely known, but bears repeating: When baby bottles and sippy cups are heated, the toxin can leach out and be ingested by children. “It can come out, especially in heated bottles,” said Gordon, quoted the Times Union. Gordon worked with Republican colleague Angel Santabarbara in sponsoring the legislation banning sale and availability of BPA-containing beverage containers for children in Schenectady County, said the Times Union.

On Monday, the full legislature discussed the issue, which was unanimously passed into law Tuesday evening, said the Times Union. The law goes into effect 90 days after it is filed and calls for first-time violators to be fined $500 with a $1,000 penalty for subsequent offenses. A similar measure was also passed on Monday by Albany County legislators that takes effect January 1 and contains identical penalties to those in Schenectady County, said the Times Union.

Recently we wrote that an emerging study found links between BPA and adverse health effects. Environmental Health News wrote that menopausal women tend to be likelier to suffer BPA-related health effects, such as inflammation and oxidative stress over women who are still menstruating and men. Just prior to that announcement, we wrote that another study found that BPA might “impair” female reproductive cell growth and function, according to the University of Illinois. Two months ago we wrote that research conducted by the North Carolina State University and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), found BPA to significantly affect reproductive health at levels that are either the same or even lower that those believed not to cause adverse effects, citing Science Daily.

BPA has been connected to a wide variety of adverse effects, namely: 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 based on over 200 studies which found it to have negative effects at doses lower than the FDA’s current standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of whether the containers are or are not heated; and longer lasting damage, which can also be passed to future generations.

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