California lawmaker to seek new vote on BPA ban bill

27 August 2010 22:41  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A California state senator plans to seek a new vote on a bill to ban bisphenol A (BPA) in certain products after it failed to pass earlier this week, a spokesperson for the legislator said on Friday.

The California Senate voted 18-14 for the bill by Senator Fran Pavley on 25 August, but the measure needed at least three more votes to pass, the spokesperson said.

Pavley had a 31 August deadline to seek a new vote on the bill.

Pavley could not be reached for comment but a spokesperson said that although non-BPA based alternatives to the targeted products are readily available, the campaign for a complete ban would be continued.

“It’s true that there are BPA-free alternatives for all of the products contained in the ban, and those products are readily available, but many manufacturers continue to make products tainted with BPA, and therefore have mounted a fierce lobbying campaign to kill the bill,” said spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman.

The bill would ban the sale of children’s cups and bottles that contain more than one-tenth of a part per million of BPA. The ban would apply to products for children three years old or younger.

It would also ban baby formula and other food or drink products for children thee years and younger from being packaged in products containing more than one-tenth of a part per million of BPA.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) issued a 2008 report stating it had “some concern” about BPA’s effect on the brain, behaviour, and prostate gland in foetuses, infants, and children. “Some concern” is the agency’s third of five levels of concern.

Health and environmental groups such as the Breast Cancer Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have lobbied for a ban on BPA in food containers after some studies linked the chemical, used mainly in polycarbonate (PC) production, to everything from developmental problems in foetuses to cancer. 

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has opposed such a ban, saying the dosage of BPA needed to cause such illnesses is higher than most people ingest.

Steven Hentges with the ACC said on Friday the BPA issue needs to wait to be handled by California’s Green Chemistry Initiative, which was still being drafted.

Hentges said that most of the BPA-based products were already off the market in California.

The main market use for BPA is in the production of polycarbonate (PC), a thermoplastic used in the automobile and electronics industries. The spot price for PC for the week ended 25 August was reported at $3,417-3,638/tonne (€2,699-2,874/tonne).

By John Dietrich

($1 = €.79)

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