FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Legislature Fails To Pass Bill Banning Toxic Sex Hormone In Baby Bottles
Group Calls On Congress To Take Action On Chemical
Legislature fails to pass bill banning BPA.
Olympia, WA—The Washington State Legislature finished their session last night with the Senate failing to take action on the Safe Baby Bottle Act (SSB 5282), a bill to eliminate the hormone disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles and sippy cups. Sponsored by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36) and Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33), the legislation passed overwhelmingly in the House, 76-21, earlier in session, but failed to squeak by before Sunday’s constitutionally imposed session deadline.
“The Senate missed an opportunity to take bisphenol A off store shelves and out of babies’ mouths,” said Ivy Sager-Rosenthal, campaign director for the Washington Toxics Coalition. “The science is clear. Bisphenol A does not belong in baby bottles or our children. We’re confident the chemical’s days are numbered.”
Opponents of the bill included the chemical industry trade group, the American Chemistry Council, and Wal-Mart. Last year, Wal-Mart received kudos from parents, consumers, and health advocates for agreeing to phase out the sale of BPA-containing baby bottles in its stores. Yet, Wal-Mart attempted to amend the bill to allow such high levels of BPA in baby bottles that the same baby bottles it pledged to remove from its stores would have been legal to continuing selling.
“Wal-Mart’s attempt to severely undermine the bill is outrageous,” said Sager-Rosenthal. “If Walmart is remaining true to their pledge to stop selling BPA baby bottles, they had no reason to oppose the bill.”
BPA is a synthetic sex hormone used in polycarbonate plastic baby bottles, sippy cups, and other containers. It has come under intense scrutiny by the scientific community as more and more evidence has shown even a small amount can cause harm to reproductive development, cancer, and obesity. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control found BPA present in 93% of people tested, with children having the highest levels.
Many other jurisdictions are taking action to remove BPA from children’s food containers. Suffolk County, New York recently passed a ban on BPA similar to the one proposed in Washington State and over 20 other states have pending BPA legislation this year. A bill in Congress, the Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2009, sponsored by Rep. Markey and Senator Feinstein, would eliminate the use of bisphenol A from food and beverage containers.
“Washington’s congressional delegation now has the opportunity to protect our state’s children by supporting national legislation. We urge them to support the Ban Poisonous Additives Act,” said Sager-Rosenthal.
Major baby bottle manufacturers, including Avent, and Playtex, have started phasing out the use of BPA in their products. Nalgene and Camelbak, makers of sports water bottles, have already made the switch to BPA-free materials.
Research links BPA to health effects including cancer, miscarriage, obesity, reproductive problems, and hyperactivity. In addition, recent scientific studies show infants are more susceptible to BPA because it stays longer in their bodies than adults. Research also shows exposure to BPA puts girls at an increased risk of breast cancer.
More than 30 health, environmental, consumer, and children’s advocates have endorsed the bill, including the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Washington State Nurses Association, Washington Conservation Voters, Children’s Alliance, People For Puget Sound, and WashPIRG.