The California Senate defeated a bill Tuesday that would have banned the use of bisphenol-A, or BPA, in baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant formula packaging intended for use by children 3 and younger.

State Democratic Senator Fran Pavley, sponsor of SB797, believes scientific studies prove the chemical can harm the development of young children. Her legislation would have banned the chemical from baby bottles and sippy cups by the beginning of 2012, and in infant formula packaging by July 2012.

sippy-cup-bpa-featured.jpgConnecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Washington have enacted laws limiting BPA in products used by small children. Over a dozen states and local governments are considering similar restrictions.

The decision comes just as an international group of researchers, led by the Peninsula Medical School and the University of Exeter, in the United Kingdom, reported a correlation between higher BPA exposure and a small increase in levels of testosterone in the blood.
“The results are important because they provide a first report in a large-scale human population of associations between elevated exposure to BPA and alterations in circulating hormone levels,” the authors wrote. “They also illustrate that the extent of exposure to BPA is similar in this European mixed urban and rural population to exposures seen in the general adult population of the USA.”

The study “confirms that ‘routine’ exposures in the population are not negligible,” said David Melzer, professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Peninsula Medical School, according to Food Quality News.

“Researchers found that the average BPA daily exposure level in this European study population–at over 5 micrograms per day–was slightly higher than recent comparable estimates for the US population,” reported FQN. “The study found that higher BPA exposure was statistically associated with endocrine changes in men, specifically small increases in levels of testosterone in the blood.”

“This finding is consistent with the evidence from laboratory experiments,” said Melzer. “However, this is just the first step in proving that at ‘ordinary’ exposure levels, BPA might be active in the human body. This new evidence does justify proper human safety studies to clarify the effects of BPA in people.”

The study was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.