October 5, 2011
Sacramento, CA – Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, today applauded the historic passage of AB1319, the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act, which protects California’s children from baby bottles and sippy cups containing the dangerous chemical Bisphenol-A, or BPA. Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday announced he had signed AB1319, a bill authored by Democratic Assemblywoman Betsy Butler of Marina del Rey intended to reduce children’s exposure BPA, which studies have shown can be harmful to their development.
“Governor Brown has put the interests of California’s children ahead of the chemical industry,” said Elisa Odabashian, Director, Consumers Union’s West Coast Office. Consumers Union was a co-sponsor of the bill. “This is a wonderful day for the future of California’s children and for their parents who can look forward to baby bottles and sippy cups in the stores in the state being free of this hazardous chemical.”
California joins 10 other U.S. states in banning BPA in feeding products for children. Beginning July 1, 2013, the law will prohibit manufacture, sale or distribution of bottles or cups designed for children 3 and under that contain BPA at a level above 0.1 parts per billion. The law also requires manufacturers to use the least toxic alternative when replacing BPA.
BPA is widely used in shatter-proof plastic baby bottles, sippy cups, and the lining of formula cans and leaches out of these containers into food. Consumers Union has long warned of the dangers of BPA in food containers, particularly for fetuses, infants, and small children. CU’s precautionary advice to consumers is based on more than 200 scientific studies that show clear links between tiny amounts of exposure to BPA and subsequent increased risk of cancer, diabetes, reproductive, neurological, and developmental disorders.
Studies show that BPA is in the bloodstreams of more than 90 percent of the population at levels that have shown harm in animal studies. And food appears to be a primary source of exposure. Children may metabolize BPA more slowly than adults and may therefore be particularly vulnerable to BPA, which has also been linked to early puberty, breast cancer, childhood obesity, autism, and hyperactivity.
Because of the existing and growing body of scientific knowledge about the health risks of BPA to consumers, the American Medical Association recently announced support for a ban on BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups and called on the industry to take action to stop producing them.
“We thank the courageous leadership of Assemblywoman Butler for fighting back millions of dollars spent by industry to fight a bill to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Odabashian.
Naomi Starkman, 917.539.3924 (c)