Environment California  [Printer-friendly version]
May 25, 2006


Would be first city in the nation to do so.

[Rachel's introduction: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has
unanimously passed an ordinance that would ban two particularly nasty
chemicals from children's toys and feeding products. The second
reading is June 6 and then it's up to Mayor Gavin Newsome to sign or
veto the ordinance.]

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- The Stop Toxic Toys bill, which would ban two
toxic chemicals -- phthalates and bisphenol-A -- from children's toys
and feeding products, passed the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on
Tuesday, May 23rd, in an 11-0 vote.

Phthalates (pronounced thay-lates) often used in soft PVC plastic
children's toys, have been linked to reproductive birth defects, early
onset of puberty, asthma, and reduced testosterone in boys. If signed
into law, San Francisco would become the first city in the country to
ban these chemicals. The European Union and at least twelve countries
have passed bans or restrictions on the use of phthalates in products
for small children.

Bisphenol-A, a known hormone disruptor, is a common ingredient in hard
plastic baby bottles and has been shown to leach out of the plastic,
especially in older bottles. Even at very low doses it has been linked
to obesity, early onset of puberty, behavioral problems, reduced sperm
production, increased cancer cell growth, and impaired immune

"Many parents would be shocked to learn that the plastic baby bottle
they're giving their child could damage their health. When you look at
the science behind these chemicals, there is no question that they
ought to be banned from baby products," said Supervisor Fiona Ma, the
author of the San Francisco bill.

"We cannot allow toxic chemicals to be used in products for young
children, especially those specifically designed to be put into their
mouths," said Rachel Gibson, Staff Attorney for {Environment
California}. Environment California was the sponsor of California
legislation -- AB 319 (Chan) -- that would have imposed a statewide
restriction on the use of phthalates and bisphenol-A in children's
toys and feeding products. "The California legislature failed to take
appropriate action this year when it had the opportunity to do so. We
applaud the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for taking this
significant step to protect our most vulnerable population."

Supervisors Ma, Maxwell, Alioto-Pier, Ammiano, and McGoldrick co-
authored the San Francisco Stop Toxic Toys bill. The final reading of
the bill is June 6, after which it goes to Mayor Gavin Newsom for his
signature or veto.


Rachel L. Gibson
Environmental Health Advocate & Staff Attorney
Environment California
369 Broadway, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 622-0086 x304
(415) 622-0016 (fax)