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More States Consider Restricting the Use of BPA

March 11, 2013

Since the beginning of 2013, legislation to restrict the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) or require labeling has been introduced in a number of states, including Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Texas. A brief summary of these bills is provided below.

In Minnesota, S.F. No. 379 would prohibit the sale of food containers containing BPA in the state by manufacturers and wholesalers beginning January 1, 2014, and by retailers beginning January 1, 2015. It would also prohibit BPA replacements that cause cancer, disrupt the endocrine system, harm development of a fetus or child, or damage the nervous system. The bill was introduced in the Senate on February 11, 2013, and was referred to Commerce Committee on March 7, 2013.

In South Dakota, House Bill 1241 would require any food package that contains BPA to display a label on the front of the package stating, "This package contains bisphenol A." The bill was first read in the House on January 28, 2013, and then referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.

In Pennsylvania, House Bill 377 would ban the manufacture, sale, and distribution of any product intended for infants or children four years of age or younger that contains BPA at a level above 0.1 parts per billion (ppb). It also requires the least toxic alternative when replacing BPA. The state's general assembly referred the bill to the House Committee on Consumer Affairs on January 29, 2013.

 

In Connecticut, Senate Bill 16 requires that any food package containing BPA be prominently labeled. The bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Environment, which voted 16 to 12 in favor of the bill on March 4, 2013. The bill was filed with the Connecticut Legislative Commissioner's Office on March 5. (The manufacture, sale, and distribution of infant formula containers, baby food cans and jars, and reusable food and beverage containers containing BPA have been banned in Connecticut since October 1, 2011.)

 

In Hawaii, several bills banning BPA have been introduced during the 2013-2014 legislative session. House Bill 351 would prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution of child care products and toys for young children that contain BPA or phthalates, and require manufacturers to choose safe alternatives. A similar bill, HB 396 would ban the manufacture, sale, and distribution any product containing BPA that was intended for use by a child under three years of age. Both bills were referred to the House Committee on Health (HLT) and the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPC) on January 22, 2013. Both committees have passed HB 396 with amendments. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN) and the Senate Committee on Health (HTH) on March 7, 2013.

 

In the Hawaiian Senate, SB 383 would prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution of child care products and toys, and require manufacturers to choose the least toxic alternatives. A similar bill, SB 384, would prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution of drink and food containers for children under three years of age containing BPA or phthalates, and would require manufacturers to use the least toxic alternatives. Yet another bill, SB 640, would prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution of child care products and toys for children under three years of age that contain BPA or phthalates, and require manufacturers to choose safe alternatives. All three bills were referred to HTH and CPN on January 22, 2013. The Senate Committee on Health passed SB 640 with amendments on February 15 and referred it to CPN, which is also currently considering HB 396.

In Texas, House Bill 218 would prohibit the manufacture and sale of certain child's products containing BPA or carcinogens, effective September 1, 2013. Child's products are defined as toys, cosmetics, or jewelry intended for children under three years of age; or a product to help with sucking or teething or to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or feeding of an infant or child younger than three years of age. However, the bill would allow the manufacturing and sale of infant formula containers containing BPA through January 1, 2017. The bill was referred to the Public Health Committee on February 7, 2013.

In New Jersey, Assembly Bill 3779, "Child Food and Beverage Packaging Act," would ban the sale of food and beverage containers that contain BPA intended for use by children four years of age and younger. It also would require manufacturers to use the least toxic alternative when replacing BPA, and bans the use any substance rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a carcinogen or reproductive toxicant as a replacement. The bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Committee on Women and Children on February 7, 2013.

In Kentucky, House Bill 287 would prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution of any reusable food or beverage container containing BPA or infant formula or baby food stored in containers containing BPA. It would also require manufacturers to use the least toxic alternatives, and prohibit carcinogens or reproductive toxicants as BPA replacements. Violations could result in fines and jail time. The bill was introduced February 7, 2013, and referred to the House Standing Committee on Health and Welfare on February 12. An amendment to delete all sections of the bill and prohibit banning any food, beverage, or container in Kentucky unless the U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans it was proposed on February 25.