In an effort to protect children (and, to a lesser extent, adults) from toxic exposure, California has banned the use of the controversial chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups, and has eliminated certain loopholes in the existing ban on lead and cadmium in jewelry. These laws follow earlier efforts to ban chemicals potentially injurious to humans. For instance, California banned the use of phthalates (a chemical often found in children’s toys) in 2009.
California’s “green chemistry” initiative, in which regulators would analyze all consumer products and chemicals holistically to require safer alternatives, was intended in part to curb piecemeal chemical bans like the ones passed. However, with the green chemistry initiative mired in a continuous loop of revisions amid intense lobbying from both environmental and industry groups, it remains to be seen whether California will continue to simply ban singular chemicals once the evidence against their use becomes overwhelming.
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