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This report is a collaborative effort of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, a campaign dedicated to protecting American families from toxic chemicals. The report incorporates a significant body of peer-reviewed science on chemicals and health. Download the report.

 

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MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 12, 2011
Contact: Amanda Sears, 207-699-5797


BPA Phase Out Passed by Maine Legislature
Passage Demonstrates Effectiveness of Kid-Safe Products Act

(Augusta, ME) Today the Maine Senate on a vote of 35-0 unanimously approved a phase out of the use of the toxic chemical BPA (bisphenol A) in sippy cups and other reusable food and beverage containers sold in Maine effective January 1, 2012. The Maine House of Representatives passed the measure last Thursday on a vote of 145-3. BPA was identified as Maine’s first priority chemical under the Kid-Safe Products Act. State and federal scientists have linked BPA exposure to harmful effects on brain development, behavior and the prostate gland among other health concerns.

“We applaud the bipartisan consensus of lawmakers to protect children’s health. This victory for Maine families continues Maine’s tradition of embracing common sense safer chemical policies,” said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, a Maine based public health organization.

The BPA rule now goes to Governor LePage for his signature. Governor LePage identified overturning the BPA rule as part of his environmental rollback proposal released in January and made national news when he wrongly stated that the worst BPA could do is give some women “little beards”. Environmental Commissioner Daryl Brown testified neither for not against the BPA rule at the March 25 public hearing seemingly signaling a retreat by the LePage administration, however after the unanimous committee vote in favor of the rule, the Governor expressed his continued opposition to the rule in the media.

The Board of Environmental Protection adopted the BPA phase out rule in December, finding that children were exposed and a safer alternatives to BPA in reusable food and beverage containers were widely available effective and affordable. The rule before the Legislature was the final step in an extensive science-based process established through the Kid-Safe Products Act, which was passed overwhelmingly by Maine lawmakers in 2008.

In a separate action not subject to legislative review, the Board also required that manufacturers disclose their use of BPA, and availability of safer alternatives, in infant formula containers, baby food jars, toys, tableware and child care articles sold in Maine. That rule will provide Maine parents and businesses for the first time useful information about which products are safe to buy and sell.

Public health advocates are working to defend the Kid-Safe Products Act against attacks contained in LD 1129 sponsored by Rep. Jim Hamper (R-Oxford). A compromise bill, LD 1185 sponsored by Senator Seth Goodall (D- Sagadahoc) which received broad support at the public hearing on March 29th, would set forth a science-based process for identifying up to 50 chemicals that would be candidates for future action as priority chemicals. The Environment and Natural Resources Committee is holding a work session on these bills today.

The overwhelming support of the BPA rule by the legislature shows the Kid-Safe Products Act works well. Industry backed attempted to undermine the law are unnecessary.


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Posted on 4/12/2011 (Archive on 5/3/2011)

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