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Washington Becomes Fifth State to Ban BPA in Baby Bottles

March 19th, 2010 by Ashley DeForest

Washington State overwhelmingly passed the Safe Baby Bottle Act (SSB 6248) during the 2010 legislative session, which will eliminate the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles, sippy cups, and other children’s dishware, as well as from sports bottles.

"This is a huge victory for children’s health and for parents. Dangerous chemicals like BPA have no place in baby bottles, sippy cups or any product children put in their mouths," said the prime sponsor of the house version of the legislation, State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle), in a recent article. "Parents can soon go to the store with confidence and buy a bottle for their baby that won’t contain BPA."

The Safe Baby Bottle Act eliminates BPA from baby bottles, sippy cups, and other food and beverage containers intended for children three years of age and under beginning July 2011. It also bans BPA in sports bottles beginning July 2012.

With passage of the bill, Washington will become only the second state to ban BPA in sports bottles, and the fifth state to ban the chemical in baby bottles and other children’s food and beverage containers. Maryland and Wisconsin passed bans earlier this year and Minnesota and Connecticut passed bans in 2009. Several other states, including California, Vermont, New York, and Illinois have similar bans pending.

The bill was one of the top priorities of the Environmental Priorities Coalition and was supported by a diverse coalition of doctors, nurses, consumer advocates, children’s advocates, and environmentalists. 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.

BPA is a synthetic sex hormone that research links to health effects, including cancer, miscarriage, obesity, reproductive problems, and hyperactivity. Recent scientific studies also 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. Earlier this year, the Federal Food and Drug Administration registered its concern about BPA, citing evidence that BPA affects the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.