Senate, Assembly Unanimously Pass Legislation Ensuring Safe Child Products

 

Tough measures on the manufacture and sale of child products containing BPA

The State Senate and Assembly have approved legislation (S3296H/Thompson & A6919D/Englebright) prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of certain child products containing bisphenol-A (BPA) which are intended for use by or upon a child.
 
The law prohibits the use of BPA in products intended for children three years of age or under.  Child products targeted include pacifiers, unfilled beverage containers, baby bottles, baby bottle lines and cups, cup lids, straws, and sippy cups.  Provisions in the law lay out civil penalties for violations that occur.
 
The legislation passed unanimously through both houses, with the Senate voting 58-0 and the Assembly approving the bill 113-0. For more information about this legislation visit http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S3296H
 
Senator Antoine Thompson (D-parts of Erie and Niagara Counties) said, “The passage of the BPA bill is just one part of my overall commitment to making the future better for our children. The problems caused by Bishpenol-A can be harmful to a child's health. Studies have shown that BPA has been linked to early onset puberty, ovary syndrome and breast and prostate cancer.”
 
Assemblymember Steven Englebright (D-Setauket) stated, “New York State  has taken a significant step forward in the battle to remove BPA from  products designed for infants and young children.  Until the Federal  government acts decisively on BPA we must continue to push the envelope through state legislative action and public awareness campaigns until BPA ceases to be an issue because it is no longer used in children's  products.”
 
BPA is an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disrupter chemical used in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics, and is the main ingredient in hard polycarbonate plastics.  BPA has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, early-onset puberty, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
 
Four counties in New York have enacted local laws restricting the use of BPA in sippy cups and baby bottles.  New York State joins other states in trying to combat child exposure to BPA.  Vermont, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Connecticut have enacted similar laws.  In addition, Canada has announced that it is placing strict limits on BPA in infant formula cans, and WalMart Canada has announced that it will immediately stop selling baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, food containers, and water bottles that contain BPA.
 
Senator Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) said, “The State Senate has approved legislation prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of certain child products containing bisphenol-A (BPA).  The law bans the use of BPA in products intended for children three years of age or under, targeting items such as pacifiers, unfilled beverage containers, baby bottles, baby bottle liners and cups, cup lids, straws, and ‘sippy’ cups.  Provisions specify civil penalties for violations. BPA disrupts child development.  This bill significantly reduces the risk posed by these chemicals, protecting children against exposure in their early years.”
 
Senator Neil D. Breslin (D-Albany) said, “Banning the sale of products for children that contain  poisonous toxins will help parents protect their children from the harmful health effects BPA can have.  I commend Senator Thompson for pushing through this important legislation.”
 
Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Brooklyn) said, "New York has joined a growing list of states, producers and consumers who have recognized the dangers of bisphenol A. BPAs have been linked to a range of health problems including reproductive disorders, diabetes and cancer. And because of their prevalence in the marketplace, from hard plastics to canned products, they pose a very serious threat if left unregulated.”
 
Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. (D-Bronx) said, “As an advocate for children's health for over 30 years through my network of medical facilities in the Bronx, prevention and education has always been a vital component to addressing lead paint poisoning, juvenile diabetes and obesity, and other health issues that plague children in poor and low and middle income communities . This new law is a significant breakthrough in further protecting our children from life-threatening products and educating parents to be vigilant of the products they expose their children to.”
 
Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) said, “Manufacturers have the responsibility to ensure that the products they make are safe not only for the people who use them but for the environment. The bill ensures that consumers can identify products that are safe for children and
pregnant women.”
 
Senator Brian X. Foley (D-Blue Point) said, “As elected officials we have a duty and a responsibility to do what we can to ensure the safety of those we are entrusted to represent. BPAs have been found to cause harmful side effects to those who come in contact with them.  Much like other substances we have placed bans or restrictions on, these toxins warrant the same response.  Banning the use of BPAs in the production of bottles and cups used by babies and toddlers will protect the residents of our state who are unable to protect themselves.”
 
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck), a co-sponsor of the legislation and the proud grandparent of two infants said, “Dangerous chemicals have no place in child care products, especially baby bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups intended for our youngest children. Today, we join with several New York counties and other states in banning the use of BPA in baby products and those used by young children.”

“The presence of BPA in child products has been proven to be disruptive in child development, and can be extremely harmful to their health down the road.  Infants and children are in most danger of this toxin because their bodies are at a crucial stage of growth and development. This bill will significantly reduce the risk posed to children by these chemicals by protecting them from exposure in their early years.  I am pleased to be able to help parents protect their babies from this dangerous toxin, and I commend Senator Thompson for his leadership in this issue," said Senator Diane J. Savino (D-Staten Island).
 
Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm A. Smith said, “The evidence is clear: BPA is extremely harmful to humans, and especially to young children. It stands to reason that we should do what we can to protect our children from BPA.  I commend Senator Thompson for his efforts to make the futures of New York State’s children safer and more secure.”
 
Senator William Stachowski
(D-Lake View) said, “There is enough compelling scientific data today to necessitate taking this precaution to get BPA out of infant products. We know that BPA can leach from certain child products and containers into food and milk exposing babies and toddlers who cannot metabolize harmful chemicals.  I am deeply concerned about what this exposure could mean for their future and when it comes to our children, I do not believe we can be too cautious.”
 
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/WF-35th District) said, "The chemicals being used in certain products are dangerous and can have long term health effects on children in the early stages of development. In adopting this legislation, New York will standardize and expand already existing local laws to protect children in a consistent and uniform way across our State."
 
-- ADDITIONAL QUOTES IN SUPPORT --
 
Thomas J. Lowe, RN, MPH, of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), said: “The passage of this legislation is a significant victory for our most vulnerable population.  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.”
 
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.  Senator Thompson and Assembymembers Englebright and Sweeney—and every legislator in the unanimous votes in both houses—deserve praise and credit for standing up to intense industry pressure.”
 
Kathy Curtis, Policy Director for Clean New York, said: “Protecting children from unnecessary exposure to endocrine disrupting BPA is a policy for which so many of us have fought so hard for so long, we're thrilled to be celebrating this victory.  But we're not there yet. Governor Paterson must sign this into law, or all of the hard work on the part of legislators, advocates and parents has been wasted. We strongly urge him to do so.”
 
Saima Anjam, Program Associate, Environmental Advocates of New York, said, “This bill will protect New York's children from toxic chemicals. We applaud the State Senate and Assembly for taking this step to protect our families and our environment.”
 
Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., Director, Technical Policy of Consumers Union, said, “This victory reflects the legitimate growing concern over BPA.  We commend the NY state legislature for taking this important action and hope it will set a precedent for other states to follow and for future action to ban BPA in all food contact substances.”
 
Sharonda C. Williams, Esq., Environmental Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, WEACT for Environmental Justice, said, “The BPA free children and babies act is a victory for the residents of West Harlem.  The 99 cents stores that West Harlem residents frequent will no longer be a cause of toxic terror.  Safe children's products are a right that should be afforded to all people regardless of race and/or income. The BPA free children and babies act seeks to accomplish this result.”
 
Stephen Boese, Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of New York State, said, “One in seven New Yorkers has a learning disability, and bisphenol A is one of the chemicals implicated in learning disabilities and other neurological impairment. If we can eliminate young children's exposures to products made with BPA, it is a step in the right direction.  We thank Senator Thompson and Assemblyman Englebright for sponsoring the Bisphenol A Children and Babies Act.”
 
Karen Miller of Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, Inc. said, “Congratulations Senator Thompson and Assemblyman Englebright on the passage of the bisphenol A free children and babies act (S 3296H/A 6919D).  This is a historic win for the families of New York State. Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, Inc. applauds this measure as an important first step to reducing our exposure to the endocrine disruptor BPA.”
 
Maia Boswell-Penc, Mother and author of Tainted Milk: Breastmilk, Feminisms and the Politics of Environmental Degradation, said, “I want to thank Senator Thompson and Assemblyman Englebright for their hard work!  This is a welcome and important piece of legislation!  Parents have so much to worry about in our fast-paced society.  It is such a relief to know that now we don't have to worry about whether or not the products our children use to drink from, and to suck on are safe for their developing bodies and sensitive systems.”