Sacramento, Calif. – California parents are cheering and letting out a sigh of relief with the news that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation banning the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups sold in the state despite fierce opposition from the chemical industry.
Noting that studies showing that BPA has harmful health effects outnumber studies that found no risk by a nine-to-one margin, Renee Sharp, head of the Environmental Working Group’s California office, said it was high time that the Golden State acted to limit children’s exposure to this troublesome chemical. EWG led the fight to pass the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act (Assembly Bill 1319).
“Governor Brown has put the interests of California’s children first in the face of intense lobbying by the chemical industry desperately trying to defend their use of this hazardous chemical in the products of our most vulnerable,” said Sharp.
"The Governor’s action to eliminate BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups is part of reasserting California's leadership on environmental health protections,” said Martha Dina Argüello, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA). “As physicians and health advocates, we need measures like AB 1319 to help reduce exposure to BPA, since babies and children are most vulnerable to endocrine-disrupting chemicals."
“Banning the dangerous chemical BPA in products used by infants is just the kind of protective measure the California Legislature and Governor Brown should be spending their time and energy on," said Elisa Odabashian, West Coast director of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports and co-sponsor of the bill. “We applaud them for their leadership.”
The legislation, sponsored by Environmental Working Group and co-sponsored by Consumers Union, Black Women for Wellness, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, requires that BPA be eliminated in baby bottles and sippy cups made or sold after July 1, 2013. It would also require manufacturers to use the least toxic alternative substance for these products. The bill had widespread support, including that of the California chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California Medical Association and the state Department of Toxics Substances Control.
“Assembly member Betsy Butler navigated a minefield of poison pill amendments that the industry attempted to get inserted into the bill,” said Bill Allayaud, EWG’s director of governmental affairs for California. “We also acknowledge the heavy lifting that Senator Fran Pavley did to move prior versions of this legislation and support the bill on the Senate side.”