Two Child Safety Bills Advance in House

Posted at: 04/26/2013 5:40 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- On Friday the Minnesota House voted to ban the chemicals BPA and formaldehyde from things like formula, food containers, and even toys as a way to help protect the state's most vulnerable citizens.

The goal is to have all such products off store shelves by 2015, but for now many parents remain vigilant.

“It makes me concerned, and everything that I have for [my son] I make sure is BPA free the best that I can,” said Amber Mattick who has a seven-and-a-half-month-old son. “Unfortunately there's so much stuff out there that has it in them that you can't avoid it all."

BPA has been shown to affect neurological function and behavior in infants.

And Friday's vote follows a 2009 law that made Minnesota the first state in the country to ban the chemical from baby bottles and sippy cups.

Care providers said Friday's ruling only makes those protections even stronger.

“I think that anything that we can do to go in the right direction of keeping our kids healthy and safe is always a positive,” said Deidre Smith, director of Discovery Learning Center in Austin.

Many parents have already moved away from buying products with BPA in them, but some said today's vote was a welcome reminder to pay close attention to everything in their child's life.

“You don't think about it in toys like you do in the bottles because we've been made so aware of the bottles,” Smith said. “This is just another step for us to become aware of everything that our kids come into contact with."

The House approved a pair of bills banning the chemicals by a wide margin on Friday. The issue is scheduled to be introduced in a Senate committee on Monday where it is expected to receive broad support.