Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill authored by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, D-Marina del Rey, that bans a toxic chemical from baby products.
The Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act prohibits the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A in baby products. More specifically, baby bottles and sippy cups that have a BPA level of more than 0.1 parts per billion will be banned from being manufactured, sold and distributed in California. Ten other states, as well as China and the European Union, have similar prohibitions.
The ban will go into effect on July 1, 2013.
In an interview with Patch last week, Butler noted the rise in levels of autism, cancer and other diseases, saying, "I can't imagine it doesn't have to do with the amount of plastics in our life and this cocktail of chemicals. A lot of these chemicals we don't know much about, especially in conjunction with other chemicals."
BPA, an artificial hormone and endocrine disruptor, seeps out of containers and enters food and drinks. In children, BPAs have "the impact of estrogen," Butler said.
Environmental activists cheered Brown's signing of AB 1319.
“Sheer moxie and persistence by our champions in Sacramento and their supporters across the state made this day possible," the Environmental Working Group's California director, Renee Sharp, said in an interview. "This time, care for the health and well-being of California's children trumped the money and influence of the chemical lobby.”
Other supporters included the California Nurses Association, as well as the California Medical Association; American Academy of Pediatrics of California; the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; and Consumer Reports' advocacy division, the Consumers Union.
“After years of fighting to ban BPA, the health of our children has prevailed and California will finally join other states and countries in recognizing the significant danger this toxic chemical poses,” Butler said late Tuesday in a statement. “Despite intense opposition, the parents, environmentalists and health advocates who fought to ban BPA knew they were on the right side of the issue and persevered. Together we overcame powerful interests to protect our future generations.”
Butler recently announced that she will be moving from her longtime Marina del Rey home to compete in the new 50th Assembly District that includes Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Malibu and West Hollywood. The move came after statewide redistricting that occurs every 10 years significantly changed the boundaries of her current district.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in Santa Monica Patch.