Since March 2011 the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles has been banned throughout the EU. The Belgian senate is now following Denmark and going a step further than EU legislation by proposing a national ban on BPA in all food contact materials aimed at children under three years.The new law is proposed to enter into force on 1 January 2013, however it must first be approved by the Belgian lower house.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which even at low doses has been linked to health effects such as cancer, obesity, and fertility problems. It is one of the world's most widely manufactured chemicals, mainly used in plastic materials.
BPA can leach out of products we come in contact with every day, such as cash receipts and food tin cans. BPA has also been reported to leach into drinking water after water pipes have been restored by relining with an epoxy coating containing BPA.
– When the EU does not act on endocrine disruptors such as BPA quickly enough, member states see the need to go beyond EU legislation to protect the health of their citizens. There is an urgent need to regulate endocrine disruptors such as BPA at EU level, not just individual substances in specific product groups but more broadly by adding such hormone disrupting substances to the REACH Candidate list, says Frida Hök, ChemSec project coordinator.
The European Commission has stated that it will review its position on BPA in food contact materials by the end of 2012.