A proposal to restrict the use of a compound that has raised safety concerns over some baby products has passed the Assembly and is being discussed in the state Senate.
Central Coast Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, voted against the bill, AB 1319, known as the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act. Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, has voted against it in the Senate Health Committee, but it passed the committee on a 5-3 vote.
The bill acknowledges concern about bisphenol A, also called BPA, a compound commonly used in manufacturing some plastics.
Some scientists and environmental activist groups claim the compound is dangerous, and it is banned from some products in a number of states and countries, while other scientists and regulators around the world say there isn’t enough evidence that it’s dangerous.
Achadjian opposes the proposal, an aide wrote in an email, because he believes it is “unnecessary and would set a bad precedent by abandoning the Green Chemistry process — a process which the Legislature enacted specifically to make these types of safety determinations.”
“To date, neither the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the Consumer Products Safety Commission has determined that products containing bisphenol A pose any danger to children or adults,” he wrote.
Nonetheless, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics-California, the possible effects of BPA exposure on brain development, behavior and puberty have alarmed some regulators and scientific researchers.
“BPA is a hormone disruptor because its chemical composition allows it to mimic estrogen,” according to a letter of support for the bill written by Shannon Udovic, co-chair of the group’s State Government Affairs Advocacy Committee. “Children are at increased risks at lower exposure levels due to their still developing brains and reproductive systems.”
In a letter of opposition, industry and other groups wrote that the proposal “runs contrary to the consensus of the scientific community and international regulatory agencies that have concluded the BPA is safe as used.”