From: KAREN ANN CULLOTTA, The New York Times
Published May 14, 2009 06:07 AM

Chicago Bans Baby Bottles With BPA Plastic

The Chicago City Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a measure making Chicago the nation’s first city to ban the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups manufactured with a chemical that some studies have linked to disease.

Passage was driven by what officials here call federal regulators’ failure to take action on a grave public health issue.

The chemical, bisphenol-A, or BPA, is commonly employed to harden plastics, among other uses. Over time, it can leach into the contents of a plastic container, particularly one that is used in a microwave oven or cleaned in a dishwasher.

Some animal studies have found that BPA apparently accelerates puberty and poses a cancer risk, and, while the issue’s focus has been on the safety of children, the chemical has also been tied to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes in adults. But in a draft risk assessment last year, the Food and Drug Administration said that at levels found in products on the American market, it appeared to be safe.


In October, a scientific panel of advisers to the F.D.A. condemned that conclusion, saying the agency had ignored crucial studies and used flawed methods. The agency's review of BPA studies goes on.

"The F.D.A. continues to be recalcitrant and very slow about taking any action on BPA," said Alderman Manuel Flores, one of two Chicago officials who proposed the city's ban after hearing concerns about the chemical’s potentially harmful effects in young children.

Mr. Flores's measure, adopted by the City Council on a vote of 48 to 0, is to take effect in January. It requires the signature of Mayor Richard M. Daley, who voiced support for it after the vote.

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