Legislature Bans Use of Harmful Chemical in Child Care Products
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce that legislation prohibiting the manufacture, distribution or sale of certain child care products containing bisphenol-A (BPA) passed the Legislature and is awaiting consideration by the Governor. Senator Oppenheimer was a strong supporter and co-sponsor of the bill in the Senate. (S.3296H/A.6919D).
BPA is a chemically-produced, estrogen-mimicking endocrine disrupter that is the main ingredient in hard polycarbonate plastics. It has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, early onset puberty and polycystic ovary syndrome. Studies indicate that infants and young children have the greatest sensitivity to BPA’s harmful effects.
This legislation prohibits the manufacture, distribution and sale of certain products containing BPA that are intended for use by children three years of age or younger. The new law imposes civil penalties of up to $2,500 per day for as long as a violation of the law continues.
“Dangerous chemicals have no place in child care products, especially baby bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups intended for our youngest children,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “As a grandmother of two beautiful infants, I’m pleased that we have enacted this BPA ban, which helps to ensure that the products we give to our babies and toddlers are safe for their use.”
Four New York counties have already restricted the use of BPA in sippy cups and baby bottles. New York now joins the states of Vermont, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland and Connecticut, which have enacted similar laws limiting childhood exposure to BPA.
“The passage of this legislation is a significant victory for our most vulnerable population,” said Thomas J. Lowe, RN, MPH, of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). “It will improve the future health of our children and in the long run, improve overall public health. We applaud our legislators for this positive affirmation of our State’s health and well being.”
Praising the legislature for “standing up to intense industry pressure,” Russ Haven, Legislative Counsel for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), said: “As the scientific evidence mounts, it’s increasingly clear that BPA should stand for ‘bad product alert.’ This is an important first step in getting this harmful, toxic chemical out of everyday consumer products. Many manufacturers have begun to remove BPA from their products and the rest need to get with the program.”
“Our children deserve protection from unnecessary exposure to harmful chemicals such as BPA,” concluded Senator Oppenheimer. “I urge the Governor to enact this important safety measure into law.”
Photo Caption: Senator Oppenheimer speaking in support of legislation to ban BPA in child care products.