State lawmakers, green chemistry fans place BPA ban in their sights

The state assembly has voted to ban from baby bottles and children’s products a chemical that’s been linked to medical conditions including infertility and asthma.

The chemical’s called bisphenol A – shortened to BPA when federal health officials study and report on it, which is increasingly often. BPA is an artificial hormone used in shatter-proof plastics and the linings of baby formula cans. Federal food and drug regulators had concluded that the chemical posed no risk – but six months ago they reversed that position, and called for more studies into the risks of exposure.

The American Chemistry Council opposes California’s bill. The industry lobby argues that the state shouldn’t restrict chemicals in a piecemeal way, especially with little proof that exposure is hazardous. But supporters of a chemical policy initiative the state’s developing say industry influence has slowed more comprehensive reforms.

California state senators passed a similar ban on the chemical BPA last year. The Assembly’s action propels both houses’ proposed laws towards a reconciliation committee meeting at the Capitol next month.

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