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What is BPA and Why Did New York Ban It?

You may have heard by now that New York has become the seventh state (preceded by Connecticut, Vermont, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, and Wisconsin) to ban BPA in children’s products, but you may not have learned a lot about BPA and its questionable health risks. What is BPA and why did New York decide to ban the sale of kids’ products that use it? Here’s a bit more information that may help you understand!

A brief rundown of BPA:

The acronym “BPA” stands for “bisphenol A,” and it’s present in a few different types of plastics (the “A” in “bisphenol A” stands for “acetone”). It’s most often used in harder plastics, like some reusable sports bottles and baby bottles. Although substantial BPA research has been conducted in the United States, Canada, and the European Union, there hasn’t been much conclusive evidence that public health could be at risk because of its low-level presence in plastics. Some scientists have linked high-level BPA exposure to diseases and conditions such as cancer, obesity, and diabetes, but the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) is still considering possible effects from the amount of BPA that’s present in some plastics used for food or drink. As of January 2010, the jury is still out on the FDA’s stance on BPA.

Which types of plastics contain BPA?

BPA is most commonly used in type 3 (PVC) or type 7 (miscellaneous) plastics. These types of plastics are most likely to allow BPA transfer (from the bottle to its contents) when they’re used, particularly when they’re microwaved or washed in dishwashers. You can check the plastic code on the bottom of products if BPA is a concern; types 3 and 7 usually contain BPA unless otherwise specified, but types 1 (PET), 2 (HDPE), 4 (LDPE), 5 (PP), and 6 (PS) do not use BPA. See our plastics guide for more information regarding plastic types and classifications.

BPA can also be found in other everyday products, like aluminum can linings, eyeglasses, bicycle helmets, cars, DVD cases, and even paper receipts. Urine tests have shown that BPA is found in 93% of Americans and in 90% of newborns. (Information from asicentral.com)

Why did New York ban BPA in children’s products?

By now, you should have a better understanding of BPA and its possible ties to serious health risks. New York banned BPA for the same reason that 6 other states have banned BPA prior to this: the accused effects are too prominent to ignore or brush aside. The Food and Drug Administration maintained that BPA was safe up until January 2010, when they announced that the chemical was worthy of more extensive study; there’s no hard evidence that BPA harms children, but some studies connect the chemical to hindered brain development, heart disease, and cancer. Isn’t it better to be safe rather than sorry, especially when it comes to children? New York’s BPA ban unanimously passed the NY Assembly and Senate in June, and it will go into effect (tentatively) on December 1, 2010.

New York may have been the 7th U.S. state to ban BPA, but they won’t be the last. Personally, I’m a bit terrified about what I’ve read on the subject of BPA and its potential health risks, so I more than support New York’s ban decision. What do YOU think? Would you have done the same thing if faced with such a decision? Leave a comment below and speak your mind. Thanks for reading the Quality Logo Products blog!

By the way, Quality Logo Products carries TONS of sports bottles and plastic products that are 100% BPA Free, including the tumbler cups with straws you see at the top of this post!



Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

Comments

  1. Bret Bonnet

    I think all of the hype surrounding BPA is because when this story first broke originally last year, there wasn’t any real new “news” going on at the time, well, besides our economy being in the crapper, so this story quickly became sensationalized and blown out of proportion…

    Let’s face it; we’re all going to die someday. For those of you who did NOT know this already – I apologize that I’m the first to break this news, but while I’m at it, SANTA CLAUSE IS NOT REAL either! :)

    Something, somewhere, whether it be BPA or a school bus is going to end up killing someone someday. Do I think trace amounts of a chemical can eventually lead to things like cancer and birth defects, most definitely, but how do you know WHICH chemical or item is to blame? I mean, without living in a complete vacuum eating food from an IV tube – can anybody reasonably determine what chemical or outside agent is to blame?

    I’m not saying NY and the other states are WRONG from banning BPA in children’s items, I’m just saying that I don’t think they should stop and BPA. Why target ONE agent instead of them all? Today it’s BPA, tomorrow is XYZ. This world is so polluted and so messed up; that it’s time to realize that MORE needs to be done and don’t let BPA be the scape goat.

    Rock!

    • QLP Jill

      I think that BPA is just one chemical in a long list of chemicals they’ll ban in the future. While I agree that spreading fear about it won’t get us anywhere, I DO think that it’s worth researching further. Why expose children to something that has this much potential to do harm to the body? It’s one thing if adults are aware of it and consciously make the decision to keep using products with BPA, but kids don’t really have a choice because they use whatever is given to them. The most we can do is educate people and let them decide for themselves. :)

  2. Bret Bonnet

    Kids don’t get to choose their parents, at least I know I didn’t, so why start giving them choices now – JK! :)

  3. QLP Kid

    Bret,

    I agree with you. We will all die one day (i’m not sure i believe your santa comment). I think that people put to much thought into things like BPA. I mean… i feel the consequences of young kids eating “fast food” is going to be much more devastating than BPA will. If New York is honestly worried about health maybe they should ban “fast food” chains that offer anything that is not 100% beneficial to you. They Won’t of course since a huge part of the states revenue comes from all sorts of taxes put on those establishments. When it comes down to it the Ban on BPA is not going to impact them finacially. Now make the taxes on products containing BPA a LARGE part of Revenue for New York and i’m sure we would see a different decision.

  4. Scooby DOO!

    With a relatively equivalent raw goods cost, food-safe PETE (Polyethylene terephthalate) resin, is a much safer bet. Lab tests rank this plastic to be just about the best.

    Ofcourse it should come to no suprise that QLP has TONS of PETE bottles.

    My fav?

    http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/custom-waterbottles/polypure-mountain-bottle-bpafree-36oz.htm

    It has a HUGE imprint area too. And when it comes to promos, the bigger, the better.

    So if its me, play it safe and stay clear of bottles that have BPA; by the time they figure out what exactly harm it causes, it will be far too late!

  5. Kat

    VERY interesting Jill. I’ve seen a lot of descriptions “BPA Free” and never really found out what exactly that meant. You learn at least one new thing a day, and THIS is definitely at the top of my list for today. It’s amazing what they come up with every day that hurts the human body or the environment. Pretty soon we won’t be able to eat, wear or use anything without a risk to our health!

  6. QLP Jill

    @QLP Kid – why am I not surprised that you agree with Bret? ;)

    @Kat – thank you! Before I worked for QLP I had no clue what BPA was, so I learned something new as well. :) What will they ban next, I wonder?

    @Scooby – I LOVE that bottle!

  7. Shawn

    What is BPA and Why Did New York Ban It? http://bit.ly/aAgj0o #BPA #NewYork

  8. Jenna Markowski

    Thank you SO MUCH, Jill! I was totally clueless about BPA, but now I’m in the know!! :D

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