Washington state’s 2010 ban on the use of the chemical BPA in baby bottles, children’s cups and sports bottles appears to be working, according to officials with the state Department of Ecology.
Officials recently tested a number of these products on retail shelves in Washington and found that BPA has nearly disappeared. BPA, which stands for Bisphenol A, is a health concern for children.
BPA is a chemical building block that is used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Along with water bottles and baby bottles, polycarbonate plastic is also used to make products such as compact disks and eyeglass lenses. Many food and drink cans are lined with epoxy resins that contain BPA.
In July 2012, ecology officials tested 74 products purchased from nine state retailers. Products included baby bottles, sippy cups, toddler containers (bowls and plates), and plastic and metal sports bottles. Nearly all the products collected were labeled “BPA-free.” About 96 percent of the products tested did not contain BPA levels above the testing limit used in this study.
Only one sample, a polycarbonate sports bottle containing a BPA level of 100 parts-per-million that was sold at a discount store, turned up with a high enough BPA level to warrant regulatory action, according to officials. In BPA enforcement, the ecology department enforces similar reporting standards as those used under the Children’s Safe Product Act.
Products enforced under this law cannot contain BPA levels about 20 parts-per-million, according to the ecology department.
Ecology officials did not name the retailer that sold the sample shown to be above allowable BPA levels. But officials said they are working with the retailer, which no longer sells sports bottles, to ensure it does not sell products with BPA levels above the legal limit.