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(a) Phthalates are a family of chemicals that are used as an additive in a number of consumer products and are used to make plastics flexible for use in children's toys, shower curtains, medical supplies, and building materials.
(b) Phthalate additives are not bound tightly within the plastic and may leach out of the product. Leaching may occur especially as a result of mechanical stress such as chewing or bending, and upon exposure to fats, saliva and warm temperatures.
(c) Phthalates have been shown to cause reproductive harm including genital defects, sperm damage, reduced testosterone production, and premature deliveries.
(d) Government agencies and scientific bodies in the European Union (EU) have recognized the potential harm of six specific types of phthalates: DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, and DNOP especially to infants and young children; and as a result, these chemicals are banned from use in children's products in the EU.
(e) The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has established a voluntary program to eliminate one type of phthalate, DEHP, from children's toys.
(f) Studies and testing indicate that regardless of this voluntary phase-out, toys sold in the United States still contain DEHP, especially toys made from PVC plastic.
(g) Consumers are not able to make informed purchasing decisions regarding children's products because there is no requirement to list phthalates content on product labels.
(h) Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a building block of polycarbonate plastic used in such products as clear plastic baby bottles and water bottles, and in other materials such as the epoxy resin coatings that line food containers.
(i) BPA has been shown to leach out of the polycarbonate plastic upon exposure to heat and mechanical scrubbing and has been detected in the liquid contained in plastic bottles that have been exposed to heat.
(j) BPA mimics the hormone estrogen and is therefore considered to be an endocrine disruptor. The hormone systems of young children are uniquely susceptible to low doses of estrogenic substances. Scientific studies have shown that BPA at very low doses can affect brain chemistry and structure, behavior, the immune system, enzyme activity, the male reproductive system, and the female reproductive system in a variety of animals, including snails, fish, frogs, and mammals.
(k) Scientific bodies within the US government and the European Union have concluded that animal studies such as those carried out on BPA are a vital guide to identifying health risks for humans, but have thus far concluded that no restrictions on BPA in consumer products are warranted at this time.
(l) The Department of Public Health and Department of the Environment will continue to monitor emerging literature on the potential health effects of exposure to BPA.
(m) Consumers are not able to make informed purchasing decisions regarding children's products because there is no requirement to list BPA content on product labels.
(Ord. 86-07, File No. 070078, App. 4/27/2007)