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Time to dump your bisphenol-A baby bottle?

August 17, 2009 |  7:12 pm

Glassbottle As federal and state lawmakers consider banning bisphenol A, a chemical found in hard plastic that has been linked in animal tests to cancer and hormone disruption, a group of doctors, activists and legislators are literally trashing it.

At a "toxic baby-bottle swap" on Wednesday, attendees can dump plastic bottles into trash cans and go home with BPA-free bottles donated by the Los Angeles-based company Green to Grow.

The event is aimed at garnering support for state Sen. Fran Pavley's SB 797, which would ban BPA in food and beverage containers targeted at children under 3 years old.

The state Senate voted in favor of the bill in June, and the Assembly is expected to vote in the next few weeks.

"The chemical lobby is spending millions of dollars. It's really the babies versus the powerful chemical industry," Sen. Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) said in a phone interview Monday. "I'm literally taking this to the people. This press conference which has gathered some wide support will hopefully get people involved and encourage them to pay attention to this issue."

At the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration told its science panel on Monday that the agency would issue a new decision on the risks posed by bisphenol A by Nov. 30. The agency's draft assessment, released in 2008, concluded that the chemical was safe for use in food containers. A federal law passed last month mandated that the FDA reassess the chemical to inform Congress about its safety. 

Last month, a state panel voted not to mandate warning labels on products that contain bisphenol A, despite a statement by the panel's chairwoman that she would choose glass bottles over plastic.

Wednesday's event, sponsored by local groups such as the Breast Cancer Fund, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Black Women for Wellness, will be held in the playground at 10 a.m. at the St. John's Well Child and Family Center at 1910 S. Magnolia Ave. in Los Angeles. Speakers will include Dr. Harvey Karp, author of "The Happiest Baby on the Block."

-- Amy Littlefield

Photo: Glass bottles provide a popular alternative to plastic bottles that contain the chemical bisphenol A. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

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