California babies have a better chance at being BPA-free, thanks to legislation signed into law yesterday by Gov. Jerry Brown. The law bans the estrogenic chemical BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups sold in the state.
California is the eleventh state to restrict BPA in baby products, adding to the mass of governmental, corporate and scientific concerns about the chemical's effect on health, even at low levels. BPA exposure is associated with a wide range of adverse health effects, including breast and prostate cancer, birth defects, infertility in men, early puberty in girls, diabetes and obesity.
Because of BPA's link to breast cancer in lab studies, the Breast Cancer Fund has been advocating to get it out of consumer products for the last six years: We've supported the new California law through previous iterations in 2008, 2009 and 2010; we're working with Congress on federal bills that take aim at BPA in kids' products as well as BPA in food-related products for all ages; we've done research that demonstrates the close link between our eating habits and our BPA exposure; and we recently launched a market-based effort to get BPA out of canned goods.
All to say, we're thrilled California has finally taken this important step to make sure ALL babies in the states are protected from BPA in their baby bottles. While the big bottle manufacturers have already moved away from BPA because of consumer concerns, only a law like this can guarantee that all stores, from health food stores to dollar stores—regardless of the brands they carry— stock only safe products.
Clearly, though, this new law isn't our endgame. We took aim at baby bottles and sippy cups first because babies are most vulnerable to the effects of chemicals like BPA. But there's still BPA in baby food jar lids and cans of ready-to-feed formula. And older children, pregnant women, and women and men of all ages are almost certain to be exposed to BPA on a daily basis, and susceptible to the chemical's effects, too.
Our aim: a BPA-free dinner table for all ages, all income levels, all degrees of BPA-savvy and all states. This is a start; help us get further.