Environmental connections to public health >>
Maryland is 5th state to ban BPA
This month Maryland became the 5th state to ban the use of the plastics chemical, bisphenol A (BPA) in children's products, including baby bottles and sippy cups.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed legislation on April 13th that was sponsored by Delegate James Hubbard and Senator Brian Frosh and passed unanimously in both chambers of the General Assembly earlier this year.
Environmental Working Group (EWG), along with Maryland PIRG and the Maryland Nurses Association testified before both Senate and House of Delegate committees in support of the legislation. EWG President Ken Cook had this to say about the victory:
"As a resident of Maryland I applaud the Governor's action that will soon protect the state's young children, including my two year old son from the dangers this chemical poses during this critical period of a child's development. The verdict over BPA's risks to human health in the courts of public opinion, science and now our elected leaders in Annapolis is in. Guilty.
To steal from a phrase from a T Bone Burnett song -- BPA's history is pretty rocky and its future ain't long, at least in Maryland. I am particularly proud that my own Senator Brian Frosh led the charge to get this important public health measure enacted. It is yet another impressive accomplishment by one of the most effective state environmental leaders in the country."
Other states and local governments have banned it, too Maryland joins Connecticut, Minnesota, Washington State, Wisconsin, Chicago, as well as Albany County, Schenectady County and Suffolk County, New York, among the jurisdictions restricting BPA in plastic food containers for infants and young children.
Meanwhile, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering whether to restrict the use of BPA in canned food and other food packaging and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed the plasticizer as a 'chemical of concern. BPA is an integral ingredient of epoxy resin, used to coat the interiors of virtually all metal food cans manufactured in North America.
The FDA, EPA, government and independent scientists and health advocates are particularly concerned about BPA leaching into canned infant formula, because of numerous studies that have linked the chemical to developmental abnormalities in fetal and infant test animals.
Want the whole history of BPA? See EWG's BPA timeline. [Thanks to Flickr CC & Anosmia for the Maryland state capitol pic]