Residents in the Pico Union neighborhood of LA attend a toxic baby bottle exchange. "My community deserves BPA-Free."

As California goes, so goes the nation. California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s recent legislative efforts highlight the states’s position as a leader in sound public health policy. Feinstein is sponsor of federal policy to ban the toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) from food and beverage containers. Below, she describes in no uncertain terms what’s at stake when deciding whether or not to take action on this hazardous chemical:

Increased risk of breast and prostate cancer. Genital abnormalities in male babies. Infertility in men. Early puberty in girls. Type-2 diabetes. Obesity. These are just some of the health problems now being linked to BPA exposure.

One survey, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimated that 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their urine.

PSR-LA’s work to eliminate this harmful synthetic estrogen from California’s consumer products was in full swing this past legislative session as we engaged in a campaign to pass Senator Fran Pavley’s bill, The Toxics-Free Toddlers and Babies Act. Browse through related posts and actions from 2009. This Act would have reduced exposure to BPA for all California babies and children.

Senator Feinstein also references the difficulty in creating policy that protects public health –as  all too often, industry interests are well-funded and organized:

Last year the National Toxicology Program, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, reported “some concern” that BPA may affect neural development in fetuses, infants and children at current levels of exposure.

Despite the growing evidence, the Food and Drug Administration last year claimed that BPA is safe. But an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed that lobbyists for the chemical industry wrote significant parts of the FDA’s assessment.

During PSR-LA’s campaign to pass the Toxics-Free Toddlers and Babies Act here in California we also battled the chemical industry lobby and unfortunately they appear to be waging war on the national BPA stage as well.

Read Senator Feinstein’s full Op-Ed at the Huffington Post.