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Minnesota “BPA Baby Bottle Ban” First in the Nation



May 13, 2009

Minneapolis, MN – Minnesota has become the first state to ban a chemical considered a health hazard to babies. A bill signed by Gov. Pawlenty phases out the chemical bisphenol 'A', or BPA, a synthetic sex hormone used in some plastics that can leach out of baby bottles and "sippy cups."

Senate sponsor Sandy Rummel(DFL-White Bear Lake) says the containers will be BPA-free starting in 2011.

"The bill protects babies. Babies are the most vulnerable of all of us, in terms of the chemicals in the environment that we get exposed to, because their development is going so fast."

While the chemical industry says links between BPA and various health problems have not been proven conclusively, studies have found connections to breast and prostate cancer, heart disease and attention deficit disorder. The governor also signed a companion bill, the Toxic Free Kids Act, which will set up a statewide system to address the overall problem of toxins in children's products.

Lindsay Dahl is with the Healthy Legacy Coalition, one of the groups advocating for the children's protection laws. She says BPA is part of a larger problem: There's no oversight for many chemicals before they are put in consumer goods.

"At the end of the day, parents shouldn't have to worry about chemicals in their children's products. These laws address the problem and say that these products should be safe, and they should be tested before they get to our retailers."

The next step, Dahl recommends, is a federal ban of BPA in food and beverage containers. She notes that many retailers - including Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us and Sears - are phasing out products containing the chemical.

More information is available at www.healthlegacy.org.

Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN