Chicago Considering A Partial Ban On Bisphenol-A Products

Chicago might become the first place in the United States to partially ban the sale of products that contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), the chemical that some studies have shown may have harmful effects on humans. They’re proposing to forbid the sale of any BPA product intended for children. Canada banned the chemical last year, but the FDA has so far come down on the side of manufacturers.

[First Ward alderman Manny] Flores said he doesn’t want to waste any more time. “Let the city of Chicago show the FDA how to protect its citizens,” he said.

The ordinance would prohibit the sale of any “children’s product” containing BPA-that is, milk bottles and other goods “intended for use by, or care of, a child seven years or younger.” Manufacturers and retailers that violate the ordinance would face fines of up to $500 per item per day.

An attorney for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association warned the council that such a ban would be economically disastrous for merchants, but that’s assuming the ban would kick in too abruptly for manufacturers to accomodate, and that Chicago would actually enforce the rule immediately and strictly. Somehow we have a hard time believing the city would attack its own retail infrastructure.

The Council agreed to hold on the proposal for at least a couple of weeks and urged the FDA to reconsider a nationwide ban in that time.

[Finance Committee chairman Ed] Burke promised that they’d push the much stronger ordinance again in a few weeks if the feds didn’t make any progress: “We will not hold this ordinance forever.”

“Chemical Engineering” [Chicago Reader]

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(Photo: daniellekellogg)