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It's All About the Children

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jun 21, 2008 4:45PM

1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores and 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke are calling for a citywide ban on Bisphenol A, or BPA, an industrial chemical commonly found in plastics. Recent scientific studies, including work by the National Toxicology Program have raised concerns about the health hazards associated with the chemical. While the NTP report on BPA cited “some concern for neural and behavioral effects on fetuses, infants and children at current exposures,” and expressed concern for BPA exposure in these populations based on effects in the prostate, mammary gland and an earlier age for puberty in females, the FDA is saying that plastic bottles are safe.


“Now that the City Council has become acutely aware of these harmful chemicals in frequently used products, we must act to protect children from BPA,” said Flores. Burke is calling on local businesses to voluntarily remove products with BPA from their shelves. “I commend those businesses that are acting to protect the health of their customers,” he said. Whole Foods Market has phased out all products containing BPA, and Wal-Mart says its baby bottles will be BPA-free by early 2009. The committees on Finance and License and Consumer Protection will host a joint hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 8 to consider the ordinance, which makes it illegal sell any children’s product that contains a detectable amount of Bisphenol A within the City of Chicago. If passed, violators would face fines ranging from $100 to $500 per offense and possible license revocation.

Photo by Michael DaKidd