Phthalates expansion/bisphenol-A ban

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 28, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) has introduced SB 1713 which would prohibit numerous toys and childcare articles that contain detectable levels of bisphenol-A.  This expands the current prohibition on the use of phthalates to include an array of products where exposure is almost undetectable or non-existent.

Bisphenol-A has been used to make shatter-resistant polycarbonate plastic and versatile epoxy resins for over 50 years worldwide.  Baby bottles, "sippy" cups, helmets, visors, eyeglass lenses, food and beverage can coatings,  incubators and components of life-saving medical devices are all examples of products relying on bisphenol-A.  There is no scientific basis to prohibit any of these products and bisphenol-A is not banned or restricted anywhere in the world.  It has become one of the best studied and tested of all substances.

Phthalates are commonly used to make vinyl soft and flexible without sacrificing its durability.  They are used as softeners in toys, cars and products found in homes, businesses and hospitals.  Comprehensive reviews of scientific evidence have found no scientific basis to restrict phthalates.  The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, the European Union, The National Toxicology Program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have all found minimal concern with phthalates.  This bill expands the state’s existing prohibition on the use of phthalates to include products "for use either on or by children."  This could impact, for example, the manufacture of clothes, shoes and car seats.

SB 1713 will be heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on April 7th.

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