Assemblyman Englebright Applauds Governor’s Approval of Landmark Bill Protecting Young Children from Bisphenol-A

August 1, 2010

Assemblymember Steven Englebright (D - Setauket) applauded the Governor’s approval of his bill A-6919-D that bans the sale of certain childcare products containing the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) including baby bottles, baby bottle liners and cups, cup lids, pacifiers, teethers, and sippy cups. Assemblymember Englebright also praised Assemblymember Robert Sweeney (D - Lindenhurst), Chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, who played a critical role in the bill’s passage.

New York now becomes the seventh state to phase out children's products with BPA, an endocrine disruptor that mimics the female hormone estrogen and is linked to early onset of puberty, insulin resistance, thyroid disruption, obesity, and changes in prostate and mammary gland development. For babies and adolescents, exposure to BPA can lead to greater susceptibility to breast and other cancers later in life.

BPA is used as a hardener in the production of epoxy resins and clear polycarbonate plastics. Bottles that contain BPA have the recycling number 7 on the bottom. BPA is used to make flexible epoxy linings for canned goods, as part of the paper used for credit card receipts and numerous other applications.

Extremely widespread, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that BPA has been found in 93% of surveyed Americans. This chemical is of particular concern for infants and children who have poor ability to metabolize BPA and whose developing bodies can be affected by the endocrine-disruption properties of BPA. Research studies have found that babies have up to eleven times higher levels of BPA in their bodies than do adults because of greater exposure and reduced capacity to metabolize BPA.

In March, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a number of actions to address the potential effects of BPA, including the addition of BPA to its list of chemicals of concern and requiring testing related to environmental effects. Englebright’s bill is an important first step to remove bisphenol A from products used by infants and toddlers.

Assemblymember Englebright stated “Once again New York has established a leadership position in the fight to protect infants and young children from exposure to toxic chemicals.

Russ Haven, Legislative Counsel for NYPIRG stated “This is an important first step to get toxic bisphenol-A out of products used by our most vulnerable consumers, infants and toddlers. The evidence is increasingly clear that the synthetic hormone BPA is implicated in a wide range of health problems from reproductive damage, to learning disabilities, obesity and cancer. Assemblymembers Englebright and Sweeney and Senator Thompson deserve praise for pushing this issue before it was “hot”. Kudos to Governor Paterson for adding New York to the growing list of states taking action to remove BPA in products most likely to expose young children.”

Kathy Curtis, Policy Director from Clean New York stated “We applaud Assemblyman Englebright and the New York State Legislature for protecting kids from BPA. New York may not be the first state to take action, but it is the largest in economy and population. Babies and toddlers across the state are gurgling their thanks!”

The New York State Breast Cancer Network also applauded Assemblymember Steve Englebright and his colleagues in the Senate and Assembly for unanimously passing the BPA-Free Children and Babies Act in both Chambers. The Network stated “With Governor David Paterson’s signature, the passage of this Act will go a long way in reducing our exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.”

Dr. Philip Landrigan, Pediatric Professor and Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mt Sinai Hospital stated “This landmark law is a significant step forward in protecting the health of children and all New Yorkers.”

This new law goes into effect on December 1, 2010.