Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Safe Baby Bottle Act

Beth Anderson, Outreach Associate

After successfully passing the Children’s Safe Products Act during the 2008 legislative session, Washington’s environmental health community is now backing legislation to ban bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles & children’s food containers.

BPA is a chemical that was originally developed as a synthetic form of estrogen. It is now used in a variety of industrial applications, most commonly as an additive to harden plastic and in the epoxy resin which lines many canned food containers.

Because of the prevalence of BPA in our lives,“Testing in 2007 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found 93 percent of Americans age 6 and up were exposed to BPA. Children in the study had the highest levels of BPA, followed by teens and adults.”[1]

Companies like Nalgene (maker of the ubiquitous plastic sport bottles) and Playtex (a large distributor of baby bottles) have already made the switch to BPA-free alternative materials. Last year the Canadian government banned BPA in baby bottles, and some European nations are considering BPA bans, as well. Click here for a list of safer BPA-free baby bottles.

However, not all people have the means to locate and purchase safer alternatives, and in some cases BPA-free products are not available. As people of faith, we are called to give voice to the voiceless and protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

I urge you to contact your state legislators in support of the Safe Baby Bottle Act. The phone number for the legislative hotline is 1-800-562-6000, or you can contact your legislators via e-mail (addresses can be found using the “Find Your Legislator” tool on www.leg.wa.gov). Remember to let them know that you are advocating for this legislation on behalf of the faith community!

[1] Safe Baby Bottle Act of 2009 Fact Sheet, published by the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition.

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