California bid to ban BPA in certain products falls two votes short

01 September 2010 17:27  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A proposal to ban bisphenol A (BPA) in certain products in California fell two votes short of passing during the state Senate’s final legislative session on Tuesday night, sources said on Wednesday.

The bill fell two votes short despite carrying a 19-18 margin in favour of it. The proposal needed 21 votes for passage.

The bill would have banned the sale of cups and bottles for children three years or younger that contain more than one-tenth of a part per million of BPA.

“It’s a shame that we have failed to protect our most vulnerable citizens from this toxic chemical,” said Senator Fran Pavley, the bill’s sponsor, in a press reslease.

Pavley had called for a new vote on the bill after a prior August bid also fell short of 21 votes.

The proposal also would have banned baby formula and other food or drink products marketed toward children thee years and younger from being packaged in products containing more than one-tenth of a part per million of BPA.

Steven Hentges of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said the bill’s potential banning of baby formula and food containers that used BPA would have been the bigger issue for producers of BPA and polycarbonate (PC).

“It is quite critical those materials continue to be used as they are because they represent a public health benefit,” Hentges said.

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 PC production, to everything from developmental problems in foetuses to cancer. 

“The science on BPA clearly shows cause for alarm,” Pavley said. “Every child from every community in our state deserves access to safe, affordable products.”

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

Hentges said any potential ban should go through California's Green Chemistry Initiative, which is close to implementation.

“Many legislators recognized that they passed the Green Chemistry Initiative so that the legislature would not have to deal with chemical-by-chemical issues,” Hentges said.

The main market use for BPA is in the production of 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 = €0.79)

For more on BPA and PC visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Staff Reporter
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