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Chemical linked to birth defects banned from formula containers

Have you heard of a dangerous chemical called BPA? BPA, or Bisphenol A, has been linked to reproductive troubles, birth defects and cancer. Humans typically ingest the chemical as it leaks out of plastic food and drink containers, as well as containers which hold canned or processed foods.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the risks associated with low levels of BPA exposure are still unknown, but have proven harmful in animal tests. Health surveys have found traces of the BPA chemical in over 90 percent of people tested. It's statistics such as these which prompted Maryland legislators to ban the use of BPA in all containers which hold infant formula.

Last year, Maryland law makers passed a BPA ban in all baby bottles and sippy cups, mirroring similar regulations in the European Union, but consumer safety and environmental protection groups were not satisfied. They pointed out that the dangerous chemical could still contaminate infant food products through the lining in food and beverage containers, potentially leading to serious consequences.

Maryland is only the third US state to pass such an extensive BPA ban. The measure easily passed both houses of the State Assembly before moving onto Governor Martin O'Malley's desk for final approval.

There's almost nothing harder on a parent than having to watch their children suffer from an extended and serious illness. That's why parents go to great lengths to protect their babies' health, and have the right to expect that baby product manufacturers will do the same. This new legislation will help ensure that Maryland infants are protected from the dangers of BPA.

Source: Baltimore Sun, "Maryland OKs ban on BPA in infant formula containers." Tim Wheeler, 30 March 2011.

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