Democratic lawmakers propose BPA ban

Three Democratic lawmakers have introduced a federal bill that could ban the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage packaging.

The chemical, found in packages from reusable bottles to beverage can linings, has been shown in recent studies to potentially mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

Those studies were enough for the Canadian government to issue a ban last year on BPA’s use in baby bottles, but the American measure as proposed by Democratic lawmakers goes further.

The bill, proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass), would ban BPA from all reusable bottles and prevent any new BPA-containing packages from being introduced into the marketplace. Industries that can prove there is no reasonable alternative to BPA would be granted exceptions that would have to be renewed each year.

Manufacturers receiving these waivers would also have to submit plans for future compliance, and indicate on package labels that the package still contained BPA.

Geoff Cullen, Director of Government Relations for the Can Manufacturers Institute, could not be reached for comment, but he said in October that beverage packaging would be an unlikely target for BPA regulation. While the chemical is present in the cans’ epoxy liner, Cullen said beverage cans use a particularly thin coat of the epoxy.