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Washington Bans BPA From Some Children's Products

Ashley Ahearn
07/01/2011

Beginning Friday certain children's products containing the petrochemical Bishpenol A, or BPA, will be banned in Washington.

TRANSCRIPT

Bottles, cups and other containers for children under the age of three which contain BPA can no longer be sold in Washington.

Research has shown that this petrochemical disrupts the body's hormonal messaging system, affecting metabolic function and reproductive health in lab animals. Last year the Food and Drug Administration ruled that there's some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.

BPA is found in a range of products, from the liners of canned goods to the packaging in some infant formulas. And manufacturers are not required to list BPA on product labels.

Carol Craigie is the coordinator for toxics policy at the Washington Department Of Ecology. She says the new ban targets the low hanging fruit.

Carol Craigie: "We want to go after those products that are actually of potential for children to be harmed not everything just because it's in there. We're really trying to be very deliberate."

Being deliberate, for some, means being behind the eight ball. Patricia Hunt is a reproductive biologist at Washington State University.

Patricia Hunt: "I would argue that although this provides a step in the right direction, I really don't think that it's enough to protect our babies and our infants and our unborn children."

Manufacturers who are found to knowingly sell children's bottles, cups and other containers made with BPA will be subject to a $5,000 fine for each product.

Washington is now one of nine states with bans on BPA in baby bottles. The Oregon Legislature has made two unsuccessful attempts to ban BPA since 2010.

I'm Ashley Ahearn in Seattle.

© Copyright 2011, KUOW

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