Sen. Markey and Reps. Capps & Meng Introduce Legislation to Ban BPA from Food and Beverage Containers
Legislation includes provisions to protect men and women who work in factories where food containers are made and packed; endorsed by major national unions and environmental health groups
Washington (July 9, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representatives Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) today introduced legislation to ban the dangerous chemical bispenol-A, commonly referred to as BPA, from food and beverage containers. BPA, a toxic chemical used to harden plastics and found in such everyday household products as Thermoses and canned foods and beverages, has been linked to breast cancer, infertility, early puberty and other health conditions. It is so prevalent in household items that more than 90 percent of the U.S. population has traces of it in their urine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Doctors, researchers, parents and consumers all know that BPA is dangerous for our bodies, especially for vulnerable groups such as infants and young children and workers,” said Senator Markey. “It’s time to take the worry out of the workplace for our factory workers by taking the BPA out of canned goods and other food and beverage containers. The Ban Poisonous Additives Act will help ensure that our factories and our entire food supply are free from this damaging chemical. It’s time to ban BPA and move to safer alternatives.”
“The health dangers of BPA exposure are well-documented, and we must do all we can to protect those who are most at risk, including children, pregnant women, and factory workers who assemble food packaging and are exposed every day,” said Rep. Capps. “The Ban Poisonous Additives Act will protect these and all Americans by banning BPA in all food and beverage containers and requiring a full safety review of all food and beverage containers going forward. I am proud to be working with Rep. Grace Meng and Senator Edward Markey on this important legislation and look forward to moving this bill forward so that we can fully protect our children and our workforce from harmful exposure to BPA.”
“This legislation is a no brainer,” said Rep. Meng. “Prohibiting the use of BPA chemicals in food packaging and developing less dangerous alternatives is a smart, common sense approach to improving the safety of our children and families. These improvements would also go a long way towards protecting workers who produce products that contain BPA. I urge the House to swiftly pass this critical piece of legislation.”
The Ban Poisonous Additives Act (BPA Act) requires that:
- • Reusable food and beverage containers (such as Thermoses) that contain BPA cannot be sold, and
- • Other food and beverage containers (such as food or beverage cans) containing BPA cannot be introduced into commerce.
The Food and Drug Administration must also periodically review the list of substances that have been deemed safe for use in food and beverage containers in order to determine whether new scientific evidence exists that the substance may pose adverse health risks, taking into consideration vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women, workers and disproportionately exposed communities.
A copy of a letter of endorsement from 34 major health and environmental groups can be found HERE.