In the face of federal disagreement as to whether the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) threatens the health of babies and young children, several state attorneys general have taken the matter into their own hands, and have asked baby product manufacturers to stop using the controversial chemical.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, joined by the AGs of New Jersey and Delaware, sent a letter in October to 11 companies that manufacture baby bottles and formula, asking them to cease using BPA in their bottles and formula container liners.

"I am alarmed by recent studies confirming that BPA leaches from these products into the foods they hold," Blumenthal stated in the letters, which were sent to baby bottle manufacturers Advent, Disney First Years, Gerber, Dr. Brown, Playtex and Evenflo, as well as formula makers Abbott, Mead Johnson, PBM Products, Nature's One and Wyeth.

"Credible, escalating laboratory evidence demonstrates that even low dose exposure to BPA causes serious damage to reproductive, neurological and immune systems during the critical stages of fetal and infant development," the letter stated. "The preventable release of a toxic chemical directly into the food we eat is unconscionable and intolerable."

The AG's action comes at a time when the federal government appears to be at odds over how serious a threat is presented by the presence of BPA, which is used to harden plastics, and is contained in liners of canned goods.

In September, the National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health released a report that concluded there is "some concern" that exposure to BPA can adversely affect development in fetuses and children. But this summer, the Food and Drug Administration stated that its data did not support the need to tighten safety standards regarding BPA content in children's products.

Read a summary of the state AG's action at ct.gov.

Read about the NTP's report and more on the issue from the NIH at niehs.nih.gov.

View the FDA's draft report at fda.gov.

Read past KidAdLaw coverage of the issue.

Read more about the issue at apnews.excite.com, "States ask baby product companies to avoid BPA", and at nytimes.com, "BPA and the Donor" and "That Plastic Baby Bottle".