Consumer groups urge CA Governor to sign BPA ban bill

September 12, 2011

The Honorable Jerry Brown
Governor of California
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Request Signature on AB 1319 (Butler)

Dear Governor Brown:

The four undersigned organizations, as co-sponsors of the legislation, respectfully urge you to sign Assembly Bill 1319 by Assemblymember Betsy Butler. AB 1319 would ban the manufacture, sale, or distribution of baby bottles and sippy cups that contain the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, in California starting on July 1, 2013. The legislation provides that any aspect of this prohibition could be superseded by an action of the Department of Toxic Substances Control pursuant to their authority under the Green Chemistry statute.

BPA is a widely used chemical, with a primary application being for the manufacture of hard plastic containers. It has been known for many decades that BPA acts as a hormone in the human body, but due to advancements in scientific methods, there is now solid evidence that, even in extremely low doses, this chemical has harmful effects on the human body. Exposure to BPA has been associated with serious health concerns such as Type II diabetes, obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and ADHD. AB 1319 addresses an area of particular concern – BPA exposure to children under three years of age through drinking containers, that is, baby bottles and sippy cups.

Several, key federal agencies and scientific bodies have stated official concern about the safety of BPA including the National Institutes of Health (National Toxicology Program), Food and Drug Administration, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the President’s Cancer Panel. As further evidence of the concern of medical professionals about BPA in baby products, the following organizations support AB 1319: the American Academy of Pediatrics (California Chapter), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the California Medical Association, and the California Nurses Association.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to BPA-laden bottles already on the market, and testing shows that these “BPA-free” alternatives contain no or extremely small amounts (in the parts per trillion) of BPA. However, while these alternatives are becoming widely available, not all stores in all neighborhoods carry them. AB 1319 would ensure that all Californians have access to BPA-free bottles and sippy cups within a short time frame.

We urge your signature of this legislation to put California among the leaders in banning this toxic chemical in these baby products. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Bill Allayaud
California Director of Government Affairs
Environmental Working Group

Elisa Odabashian, Director
West Coast Office and State Campaigns
Consumers Union

Nourbese N. Flint M.A
Program Manager
Black Women for Wellness

Martha Dina Arguello
Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles

cc: Debbie Raphael, Director, DTSC
Gareth Elliot, Secretary, Legislative Affairs
Deputy Secretary, Legislative Affairs
Assemblymember Betsy Butler