This past summer, New York State passed legislation banning bisphenol-A (BPA), a controversial chemical used in plastics like baby bottles and sippy cups, in children’s products. This was a huge step towards protecting our most vulnerable, adorable, and bib-wearing residents, but what about (still adorable!) adult New Yorkers? Shouldn’t we also be aware of where the dangers lurk?
After all, BPA is a chemical used in polycarbonate plastic water bottles, as well the epoxy resin lining of cans. And it’s still in some yoga mats (though hopefully we’re not ingesting those), and thousands more everyday objects like ATM receipts and takeout containers.
BPA disrupts hormone systems in the body by acting like estrogen, and, countless studies have linked it to breast and other cancers and early onset puberty. It has also been linked to heart disease and diabetes and has been shown to affect the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children.
New York State senators announce a ban on BPA in child- care products—but not on the thousands of other items we all may come into contact with
Last month, Canada declared BPA a toxic substance, giving he government the ability to regulate it in all products (The country banned BPA in baby bottles two years ago), and just last week, the European Commission banned BPA in baby bottles starting in mid-2011. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed a similar ban of BPA baby products as an amendment to the food safety bill that passed last Thursday, but it was defeated after protests from the food industry and other major business groups. In the absence of a federal law, many states have enacted their own bans, and several companies, such as Gerber and Evenflow, have voluntarily stopped using BPA in baby bottles. Retailers such as CVS and Toys R’ Us have also discontinued selling products that contain the chemical.
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