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First-Ever Statewide Ban of BPA Adopted in Minnesota

For Immediate Release: 
Friday, May 8, 2009

OAKLAND, May 8, 2009 -- This morning, Minnesota’s governor, Tim Pawlenty (R) signed landmark legislation, the first statewide prohibition on the use of the toxic plastics chemical Bisphenol-A, or BPA, in baby bottles and sippy cups. The prohibition will go into effect January 1, 2010.

BPA, a toxic hormone disruptor found in bottles and sippy cups, as well as infant formula, canned foods and food packaging, is linked to a growing list of serious health problems, including cancer. Recent studies find BPA exposure during early life may permanently alter the developing brain and reproductive systems, and the National Toxicology Program within the U.S. National Institute of Health has raised concerns about the safety of children’s exposures to the chemical.

“Minnesota now leads the way in protecting American children from BPA,” said Renee Sharp, senior analyst and director of Environmental Working Group’s California office. EWG is sponsoring a similar BPA ban in California, authored by State Senator Fran Pavley (D).

California and Connecticut are poised to consider similar measures in the next week.

“California legislators will have the opportunity next week to stand on the right side of history and join their colleagues from Minnesota, the government of Canada and major retailers by protecting California’s children from future exposure to this toxic chemical,” Sharp added.

As the scientific evidence continues to mount in favor of restricting the chemical’s use, many retailers and manufacturers have responded. Within the last year, mega retailers like Wal-Mart and Toys R’ Us have announced they would stop selling baby bottles made with BPA. The water bottle manufacturer Nalgene and several of the nation’s largest baby bottle makers are phasing BPA out of their products. Even the petro-chemical giant Sunoco has promised that it would no longer allow any of the BPA it makes to be used in items designed for children 3 and under.

“Minnesota’s action should pave the way for California,” said Sharp. “BPA has been banned by everyone from Wal-Mart to Sunoco, Canada and now Minnesota. Any questions about the viability of alternatives have clearly been resolved.”

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