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Great news out of Washington state: Bisphenol-A (BPA) is close to being banned, which would make it the third state in the nation to pass a BPA ban in some form.

Here’s the current status: The Washington State House of Representatives last Monday passed a bill (SHB 1180) -- the Safe Baby Bottle Act -- which would ban BPA from baby bottles, sippy cups, children’s food containers, and sports water bottles. The bill passed with a 95-to-1 margin in the House.

Scientific studies have linked BPA to known health effects including impaired brain and reproductive development in unborn babies, miscarriage in pregnant women, diabetes, obesity and cancer.

Populations that are particularly vulnerable to BPA are infants, children and pregnant women.

"While forward-thinking companies have made progress in phasing BPA out of their products, parents should be able to shop with confidence in all of Washington’s stores, secure in the knowledge that the baby bottles and sippy cups they buy for their kids are BPA-free," said Blair Anundson, consumer advocate for WashPIRG.

Late last week, a similar bill (SB 6248) passed the State Senate with a margin of 36-to-9. The laws differ somewhat, with the main difference being that the House bill would ban BPA from sports bottles used by adults and the Senate bill would not.

The differences between the bills need to be worked out before the ban moves forward, but we are all encouraged by the swiftness with which the Washington BPA ban was tackled.

Ivy Sager-Rosenthal, campaign director for Washington Toxics Coalition, released a statement underlining the importance of including sports bottles in the ban:

"... passage of the Safe Baby Bottle Act (SB 6248) by the Washington State Senate is a step in the right direction for eliminating bisphenol A in items children use everyday. However, we were hoping the Senate would include polycarbonate sports water bottles in the bill. Sports water bottles are used by children and pregnant women and can be a source of significant exposure to BPA. A 2009 Harvard study found that drinking out of a polycarbonate sports water bottle for one week could increase BPA levels by up to 69%."

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