BPA ban will make our children safer

February 26, 2010

Kudos to the Maryland legislature for recognizing the health risks associated with exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and taking action to prevent children from being exposed to this chemical ("Senate OKs BPA ban in bottles and cups for young children," Feb. 25). Unfortunately, BPA exposure does not only affect our children but can also have negative health impacts on both women and men across their lifespan. As a nurse-midwife, I am especially concerned about the possible impacts of fetal exposure to this chemical that is used in so many products.

Throughout our daily lives, we are exposed to myriad different chemicals, including BPA, which can have a measurable impact on our public health. I encourage our elected officials to perform a comprehensive review and overhaul of the U.S. chemical policy, a task that is long overdue. We need to commit to a national chemical policy reform that protects the public health and places the burden on manufacturer to demonstrate product safety, as we currently do with pharmaceuticals.

Public health professionals lament that either we learned lessons regarding tobacco, lead and mercury exposures too late, or we failed to act on what we knew. We cant afford the same kind of delayed response regarding BPA and other toxic chemicals.

Removing BPA from childrens bottles is a good start. But its just the beginning of meaningful chemical policy reform.

Katie Huffling, Mount Rainier

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