B'More Green posted today about efforts in Annapolis to ban products containing two chemicals that have raised concerns about their toxicity:
At 2 p.m. today (Tuesday), the House Health and Government Operations Committee is scheduled to air HB33, which would ban the sale, manufacture or distribution of children's toys or child-care articles such as baby bottles made with bisphenol-A, or BPA. The bill, sponsored by Del. Jim Hubbard, a Prince George's County Democrat, would prohibit it by Jan. 10, 2011.
The plastic has been widely used as a lining in canned foods and some plastic water and baby bottles. For years, the Food and Drug Administration maintained it was safe, but amid growing scientific evidence of potential harm, the agency last month reversed course and declared concern about the effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children. The agency now is pushing to end the use of BPA in baby bottles and infant feeding cups and is pressing for safer alternatives to line canned formula and other foods.
Connecticut and Minnesota already have banned BPA in certain children's products, according to legislative analysts, and 18 states last year weighed legislation to curtail the plastic. Several manufacturers already have begun phasing out use of BPA, including Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, and Babies “R” Us. For more on the bill, go here.
On Feb. 10, the House Environmental Matters Committee will hear another Hubbard bill, HB35, which would ban the sale of products containing brominated flame retardants. Decabromodiphenyl ether, or decaBDE, is used in a wide variety of plastic products, including television cabinets and other electronics, in wire insulation and in draperies and upholstered furniture.
Hubbard pressed for a ban before, but his bill failed to pass. Last year, though the Environmental Protection Agency, citing concerns that exposure to decaBDE may cause cancer and impair brain function, announced an agreement with chemical manufacturers to phase out its use by 2013. Hubbard reintroduced the bill this year, seeking to ban it in Maryland by January 2011.
Maryland PIRG is backing both measures.
Baltimore Sun file photo of Nalgene travel bottles made without BPA/Jerry Jackson