The Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act, proposed by Venice's assemblywoman, Betsy Butler, would ban the chemical bisphenol A from plastic baby bottles and cups. The bill passed the California Legistature this week.
Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, is used by plastics manufacturers to make polycarbonate, which is used in reusable water bottles, baby bottles and aluminum can linings to preserve taste. Unfortunately, BPA can leach into drinks and can act like estrogen when ingested into the body.
After years of claiming that BPA was safe, early last year the Food and Drug Administration expressed reservations, yet it failed to ban the substance for infants, a position slammed by Consumers Union.
In a report by the National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the agency said it "has some concern for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children at current human exposures to bisphenol A."
Evidence is building that BPA can cause a slew of health problems in adults as well as children. BPA is already banned in Canadian baby bottles and several U.S. jurisdictions, including New York and Massachusetts. California should protect the half a million babies born each year here from this toxic chemical.