New York County Passes First U.S. Bisphenol A Ban, Ill. House Pulls Similar Ban

New York County Passes First U.S. Bisphenol A Ban, Ill. House Pulls Similar Ban

New York's Suffolk County has passed the first ban of bisphenol A (BPA) in the United States, preventing the sale of baby bottles that contain the chemical commonly used to make hard plastics.

Last week Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy signed the ban, passed by the county legislature in March, which applies to baby bottles intended for kids age 3 and under. It takes effect in 90 days.

Another BPA ban is being mulled in New York's Schenectady County, where a hearing on the chemical will be held later this month. BPA legislation discussed in Schenectady County, though, would apply to all beverage containers.

While Suffolk became the first county to ban BPA in some way, Illinois was on track to become the first state to take action on the chemical until its BPA legislation was pulled from consideration. A bill that would have eliminated BPA from baby bottles, sippy cups and reusable plastic containers for kids was facing a failing vote, and one of the bill's sponsors, Democratic State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, stopped the vote before it finished so that the measure could be brought up at another time.

Maryland is also looking at BPA; the state's General Assembly will discuss this week a BPA ban that has already been passed by the state's House of Delegates. Their ban also applies to baby bottles and cups.

Some of the proposed legislation, though, might be moot based on the rate that companies are responding to widespread backlash against BPA.

Ever since Canada banned the chemical in some uses last year, retailers and product makers across Canada and the U.S. have pulled products with BPA, introduced BPA-free alternatives or eliminated the chemical altogether in products ranging from hard plastic water bottles to kids products to baby formula containers.

Sunoco, a maker of BPA, has even set a policy not to sell the chemical to companies that would use it in food and drink products for kids 3 and under.

Baby bottle - CC license by Flickr user Boy27wonder