Menu

State Legislatures Continue Their Attack on Banning the Use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in Baby Bottles and Containers

Toxic Tort Alert

February 22, 2010
Toxic Tort Alert

A handful of states, counties and even a major city have already passed laws banning the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in children’s baby bottles and beverage containers. State legislatures across the country are pursuing similar efforts. The existing and proposed legislation banning BPA certainly has the potential for inviting litigation against the chemical and bottler makers, as well as against the bottle distributors and retailers.

BPA is a chemical used to strengthen and harden plastic. It also serves to prevent corrosion and food contamination on the inside of metal containers. One of the most common uses of BPA is found in the manufacture of baby bottles and baby formula cans. Although the potential health effects from exposure to BPA are still in dispute from a scientific standpoint, proponents of the ban argue that the BPA chemical can have adverse reproductive and developmental effects, especially in newborns and infants, and even at low doses. It is suggested that BPA exposure occurs when the baby bottle is heated in the microwave, hot liquids are poured into the bottle, or when the bottle or container becomes aged, scratched or damaged.

We will continue to monitor any significant developments on this issue as they may occur. To date, the following jurisdictions have banned BPA in children’s bottles and beverage containers:

Jurisdiction

Regulation

Scope

Requirement

Effective Date

Albaby County, NY

BPA – County Law

Beverage containers for children under 3-years-old

Prohibited

2009

Schenectady County, NY

BPA – County Law

Beverage containers for children under 3-years-old

Prohibited

Jan. 1, 2010

Suffolk County, NY

BPA – Toxin Free Toddler & Babies Act

Beverage containers for children under 3-years-old

Prohibited

2009

Chicago, IL

BPA-Free Kids Ordinance Section 7-28-637 Ch. 7-8, Municipal Code of Chicago

Containers- Empty bottle or cup to be filled with food or liquid for children under 3-years-old

Prohibited

Jan. 31, 2010

Minnesota

BPA - Ch. 40 (SF 247, Session 2009-2010)

Empty bottle or cup to be filled with food or liquid for children under 3-years-old

Prohibited (Manufacturer & Wholesaler)

-----------------

Prohibited (Retailer)

Jan. 1, 2010



--------------

Jan. 1, 2011

Connecticut

BPA – Public Act 09-103 (HB 6527)

Reusable food or beverage container

------------------

Plastic container, jar or can that contains infant formula or baby food

------------------

Sell or distribute existing inventory of infant formula of baby food containers, jars or cans as of Oct. 1, 2011, provided such items were purchased or acquired prior to Oct. 1, 2011

Prohibited


-----------------

Prohibited


-----------------

Prohibited

Oct. 1. 2011


-----------------

Oct. 1, 2011


-----------------

Oct. 1, 2012

In addition, in the past year, legislation has been introduced in 21 states attempting to ban the manufacture, sale and use of BPA in baby bottles and children’s beverage containers.

The following states have seen the most recent legislative activity on BPA:

Jurisdiction

Regulation

Scope

Requirement

Status

Oregon

Senate Bill 1032

Empty bottle or cup to be filled with food or liquid for children under 3-years-old

Prohibited

On Feb. 19, 2010, Senate rejected bill by a 15 to 15 vote

Wisconsin

Senate Bill 271 (attached)*

Empty bottle or cup to be filled with food or liquid for children 5-years-old and younger

Prohibited

On Jan. 26, 2010, Senate unanimously approved bill; effective date if passed: 90th day after publication

Washington

SSB 6248 (attached)*

Empty bottle or cup to be filled with food or liquid for children under 3-years-old

Prohibited

Bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire – effective date if passed: July 1, 2011

Vermont

H. 551 & S. 247 (An Act Relating to Bisphenol A) (attached)*

Empty bottle or cup to be filled with food or liquid for children 2-years-old and younger

Prohibited

House bill introduced on Jan. 22. 2010; Senate bill introduced on Jan. 5, 2010 – effective date if passed: July 1, 2012

*(To view the attached bills from Washington, Wisconsin and Vermont, click on Download PDF)

We anticipate that more states across the country will continue to pass legislation banning the use of BPA in children’s beverage bottles and containers. We also predict the possibility that lawsuits will follow in the future against the chemical and bottle companies involved in BPA production and distribution, especially if the science on the potential health effects becomes more developed and undisputed.

For further information, please contact Craig T. Liljestrand or your regular Hinshaw attorney.

This alert has been prepared by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. It is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship.

Service Areas