Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

European Union: Prohibition of Bisphenol A in Baby Bottles

(Mar. 3, 2011) The European Union Directive 2011/8/EU enters into force on March 1, 2011. It contains an important provision for protecting the health of the most vulnerable group of consumer, infants, because it prohibits the manufacturing of baby bottles containing the organic compound Bisphenol A (BPA). The latter has been used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics, including baby bottles. According to scientific data, tiny amounts of BPA can be released in the substances inside the bottles when they are heated at high temperatures. Babies, especially in the first six months of life, are not well developed enough to eliminate BPA from their systems, especially if their only source of food is infant formula from such bottles. (Ban of Bisphenol A in Baby Bottles, HEALTH & CONSUMER VOICE (Mar. 2011).)

As of June 1, 2011, the prohibition will affect foreign companies that produce baby bottles and import them into the European Union, as the ban will be extended to all marketing and importing of the bottles. (Id.)

The European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy stated,

March 1 represents a landmark in our efforts to protect public health in the EU. The ban clearly demonstrates our determination to offer the highest possible level of health protection to our citizens. Despite the fact that there are uncertainties concerning the harmfulness of the exposure of infants to Bisphenol A, the Commission deemed it both necessary and appropriate to take action. (Id.)