California Governor Jerry Brown (D) has signed a bill (A.B. 1319) that places limits on bisphenol A (BPA) in children’s products. The legislation was intended to ban the toxic chemical from being used in baby bottles and sippy cups, but extends to other products as well.
The new law, enacted on October 4, 2011, will be known as the “Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act.” It mandates that after July 1, 2013, any bottles or cups that are “intended to be filled with any liquid, food, or beverage intended primarily for consumption from that bottle or cup by children three years of age or younger,” cannot contain BPA at a detectable level above 0.1 parts per billion. BPA is found in many plastic food and beverage containers and is considered an endocrine disrupter, which means that it can act like an artificial hormone when it enters the human body.
The new law excludes any container intended to contain liquid, food or beverages for consumption by the general population, as well as medical devices. It does not, however, preclude the Department of Toxic Substances Control from prioritizing or taking “action on any products containing bisphenol A in order to limit exposure to or reduce the level of hazard posed by bisphenol A.” Manufacturers are required to use the least toxic alternative when replacing BPA in regulated products, and they “shall not” replace BPA with any toxins that may cause “birth defects, reproductive harm or developmental harm,” or are included on the list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. The new law will be codified at California Health and Safety Code sections 108940 and 108941.