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NY Senators Propose Safer Baby Bottles

May 1, 2008

New York, NY — New York Senators are pushing a measure in Congress to ban the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a potentially hazardous chemical, in manufacturing children's products such as plastic baby bottles and teething rings.

Kelly Travers-Main works with the Citizens' Environmental Coalition in Albany, where she tracks chemicals that could be health risks. As a mother of three, she hopes Congress takes swift action on the proposed ban rather than continue to put children's health at risk.

"They're facing adult problems such as developing or triggering a hormone that could cause cancer for them when they are older. We're poisoning our children."

While the testing so far has been performed on animals, Travers-Main thinks there is enough reason for concern that the United States should proceed with a BPA ban. Senators Clinton and Schumer are both backing the bill offered by Senate Democrats, which also calls for additional study of BPA's health impact.

Canada has already taken the lead with its own BPA ban in children's products. Beth Fiteni, program director for Long Island's Neighborhood Network, says she's relieved to see Congress getting into gear.

"It's kind-of amazing that it took so long for people to realize that this was a problem, because Bisphenol-A is known to be a carcinogen, or is at least suspected to cause cancer, and here we have it in the plastic that's used to make baby bottles, of all things."

Fiteni says it's important that Congress follow through on the Senate's proposal to conduct a more comprehensive probe of BPA's effects, both on children and adults.

"The problem with these chemicals is not that we're just exposed to one; we're exposed to so many. And we're now just starting to realize that they might have synergistic effects, when they're combined in our bodies and we're continually exposed, over time."

Major retailers, including Wal-Mart and Toys 'R' Us, already have begun to pull products containing BPA from their store shelves. More information about the Neighborhood Network's environmental work is available at www.longislandnn.org/. Additional material regarding the Citizens' Environmental Coalition can be found online at the group's Web site, www.cectoxic.org/.

Michael Clifford/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NY