Maryland Senate bans BPA in baby bottles
The Maryland Senate has approved a ban on the chemical bisphenol-A in bottles and cups for children under 4 years old, reports the Associated Press.
In a 46-0 vote, the Senate passed legislation identical to a bill sponsored by Delegate James Hubbard, D-Prince George's, that already has cleared the House of Delegates.
The measures were amended so the ban would not apply to toys and teething rings. The ban will take effect in 2012, a year later than initially proposed. The measures require the least toxic alternative to be used instead.
Shaun Adamec, a spokesman for Gov. Martin O'Malley, said the governor plans to sign the legislation.
The chemical is used to harden plastic to make it shatterproof. Industry trade groups say studies have supported the safety of BPA.
Last month, federal health agencies announced that recent research shows cause for concern over the chemical's potential effect on children. However, they said more study is needed before any regulatory changes are considered. Some scientists contend BPA exposure can harm the reproductive and nervous systems and possibly promote cancers.
Six major companies that make baby bottles don't use the chemical in their products in the United States. Those companies account for about 90 percent of the nation's market.
Connecticut and Minnesota passed similar laws last year.
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