Toxins? Not Here.

Posted on 13 March 2009

Although it is not the first time Suffolk County has passed a law before the rest of the nation, we commend the county legislators who recently voted to ban the sale of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups made for infants.

We live in a county with some of the highest cancer rates in the country. It makes sense that we should consider abandoning products that contain cancer-causing toxins and we should be supportive of our government who did just that.

We’d like recognize our county legislator, Jay Schneiderman, who co-sponsored a bill allowing only for the sale of BPA-free bottles for infants. The chemical BPA has been found in many different name brand items made for children and some of the country’s biggest retailers sell them. The dangers of BPA exposure is much higher for children, so this law prohibits the sale of products containing BPA for children under three.

We understand the industry is suggesting small levels of this toxin aren’t harmful. But who’s to know what a small dosage is? We also doubt the plastics and chemical industries are putting a lot of effort into finding studies that show their products are unsafe.

The dangers posed by prolonged use of products containing BPA for children can include complications like an altered immune system, hyperactivity, reproductive health problems, an increased risk of cancer, obesity and diabetes.

Why are manufacturers using something that is potentially hazardous if there are alternatives? It may be that many of these products are coming from overseas, where quality standards are less stringent. Or it may be that they’re coming from companies who are under pressure to make money. Think of the stories that have been in the news in recent months about the salmonella outbreak caused by peanuts in this country and those Chinese made toys and food products that were tainted.

It seems like there’s precious little we can control in our lives these days. If we can take a few worrisome products off the shelves and eliminate at least one unhealthy substance from coming into daily contact with our children, then that’s something. There are enough things to worry about in this world. The safety of sippy cups and baby bottles shouldn’t be one of them.

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