The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced it will no longer allow the use of bisphenol A, also known as BPA, in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups. Many manufacturers had voluntarily stopped using the chemical in children’s consumer products in the past several years.
BPA is a hardening agent in a number of plastic products. It is used in baby bottles, sippy cups, and medical and dental devices and as coatings for food and beverage cans. New research has linked BPA exposure to accelerated puberty and an increase risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The FDA, which has primary responsibility for regulating bisphenol A, has expressed “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”
In recent years, concerns about potentially negative health effects from exposure to bisphenol A in many consumer products have led to action in state legislatures. Over 36 states have looked into the issue. Ten states and the District of Columbia have enacted restrictions since 2009. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has been tracking the actions state legislatures have taken to ban BPA and has an extensive and comprehensive list on its website that is available to state legislators, the media and public.
States have restricted the use of BPA in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups, but have also restricted BPA’s use in other products not covered by the FDA announcement, such as sports bottles, thermoses, and cash register receipt paper.