|NY COUNTY BANS BABY BOTTLE CHEMICAL|
On Thursday, April 2 2009, a suburban New York county adopted the nation's first ban on the Bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic chemical found in plastic baby bottles and sippy cups.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy signed the measure banning the sale of baby bottles containing BPA on April 2, after county legislators passed it last March.
While several states including Oregon, Hawaii, and California, are considering bans of bisphenol A, Suffolk County, on Long Island, is the first place in the nation to enact one.
Canada acted much faster to ban BPA in baby bottles, announcing last October that it would do so. It was the first country to restrict sale of the chemical, which is commonly used in the lining of food cans, eyeglass lenses and hundreds of household items.
The Suffolk County ban will take effect within 90 days of being filed with New York's secretary of state and applies to empty beverage containers used by children ages 3 and younger.
Baby bottles frequently contain BPA, which is used to harden plastic and make it shatterproof.
Some scientists believe that long-term exposure to BPA is harmful to humans. "While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stands by, Suffolk County is taking measures to protect their most vulnerable population from the potential harm of BPA exposure," said Urvashi Rangan, a senior scientist and policy analyst at Consumers Union, the nonprofit that publishes Consumer Reports magazine.
Levy, the Suffolk County executive, said children's exposure to potentially harmful products should be minimized. "Of all the things a parent must worry about," he said, "whether or not their child is being harmed by a baby bottle should not be one of them."
I applaud Suffolk County's action. It puts the onus on the industry to prove that BPA is safe, as opposed to the FDA policy of allowing it, and seeing what troubles happens down the line.
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