Lane County not considering vote to ban BPA

The Multnomah County Commissioners voted unanimously last Thursday to ban the sale and manufacture of common products that contain the organic chemical compound Bisphenol-A (BPA).

The bill, which was proposed by County Chair Jeff Cogen,@@ bans BPA, a chemical that is generally found in Multnomah County among other things, baby and water bottles, sports equipment and many household electronics. Manufacturers use approximately eight billion pounds of BPA every [email protected]@ As one example, the majority of bottles with No. 7 on the bottom contain BPA. Safer alternatives include bottles and other plastics that have #1, #2 or #4 on the bottom.

The chemical compound has been linked to several health problems, including increasing children’s developmental disorders. BPA has already been banned or severely limited in eight states, Washington, D.C., Canada and the European Union. Researchers also consider BPA to be a possible cause of cancer, cardiovascular disease, infertility and other reproductive [email protected]@see link above@@

“At the county, we are the public health authority, and so it’s our charge to protect residents from known health hazards,” said Emerald Bogue,@@ senior policy adviser in Cogen’s office. “So when the state failed to act on this, the board decided to act on it.”

Multnomah County commissioners decided to take the problem into their own hands when they passed a local ban on it.

“Studies have shown that low-level exposure to BPA is linked to health conditions such as diabetes, reproductive and liver abnormalities. Children are especially at risk because of their size and because they are still developing,” Multnomah County officials said in a press release.

Doctors recommend trying to reduce exposure to BPA as much as possible. They say to avoid heating foods or beverages in containers made with the compound and to avoid placing hot foods or liquids into such containers.

Despite the precedent set by Multnomah County’s stance against the chemical compound, Lane County officials aren’t going to move toward setting a similar ban in motion any time [email protected]@I added this because I felt there was a disconnect between Multnomah’s and Lane’s [email protected]@

“Frankly, we’re dealing with the potential of a $10 to $12 million cut to our general fund,” Lane County Commissioner Jay [email protected]@ told the Lund Report. “Making bans on products right now is not high on our list of priorities.”

Bozievich did not wish to speak with the Emerald on the story.

The State of Oregon tried to pass a statewide ban on BPA earlier this year, but the bill did not pass the House. Senate Bill 695,@@ was sponsored by senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties. These senators included Jackie Dingfelder, Jason Atkinson, Brian Boquist, Chris Edwards and Diane [email protected]@

The bill’s stated goal was to make unlawful the practice of “manufacturing, distributing, selling or offering for sale child’s beverage container, container of infant formula or reusable bottle made or lined with Bisphenol-A or replacement material that is carcinogenic or is reproductive toxicant.”

The bill passed through the Senate by a vote of 20-9 but was stopped at the House of Representatives.

As of Jun. 30, 2011, the bill has been sitting in committee upon adjournment.

“I think that of course its our preference that this is something that is statewide, but I think the message is when things don’t work out in our legislature, local governments can take some action against known health hazards,” Bogue said.

Consumers can work to avoid products containing BPA on their own. Many companies sell only BPA-free products as a store policy. In many cases, BPA-free products are not more expensive than products that contain BPA.

Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.



Tell us what you think:

Daily Emerald

Daily Emerald