It’s Thursday, December 16th, and I am just back from the Board of Environmental Protection meeting where they took a significant step forward to protect Maine families from the toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA).
During a six-month public hearing and comment period, the BEP heard the consensus of the nation’s top scientists that BPA is dangerous, even in small doses, such as those we are exposed to every day in products such as food and beverage containers including sippy cups and baby bottles. BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical that can reduce immune function, impair brain development, has been linked to diseases like breast and prostate cancers later in life.
Ninety-three percent of us are walking around with BPA in our bodies at levels that may be harmful, due to activities like eating canned food or drinking out of polycarbonate plastic bottles or painting the floor with epoxy paint. Experts around the world are saying that these chemicals are a risk to human health. Fortunately, we can do something about this, and here in Maine, we are.
Businesses large and small, ranging from the Belfast Co-op to Whole Foods urged BEP to get BPA out of consumer products. Also, big companies like Nestle, Heinz, and General Mills have pledged to eliminate BPA from their food packaging.
Beyond the action today, NRCM also urged BEP to restrict BPA in infant formula and baby food packaging and substitute safer alternatives that are already available. We hope DEP will move quickly to develop recommendations for meeting this goal, to further reduce exposure to BPA by children.
This law and this rule are about protecting Maine children’s health. Today we are one step closer to doing so.
Thanks to everyone who showed up at the hearing or submitted comments (you can read my testimony on behalf of NRCM here). This would not have happened without you!
– Matt Prindiville, NRCM Clean Production Project Director