AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A year ago, the FDA approved a ban on the chemical BPA in items such as baby bottles and sippy cups, and some Maine mothers and activitists want to see that ban expand.
Mothers, doctors, and members of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine are petitioning the Board of Environmental Protection to expand the ban to apply to baby and toddler food and its packaging.
The BEP and the Department of Environmental Protection held a public hearing on Thursday in the Augusta Civic Center.
BPA, or bisphenol-A, is a chemical found in plastics that has been linked to cancer, obesity, learning disabilites, male infertility, and early puberty in girls.
Because the FDA banned BPA in some children's products last year, some people argue expanding the ban this soon could hurt businesses.
"Here we are a year later, and they're trying to move the goal post on us," said Ben Gilman, representing the Maine Chamber of Commerce.
"We're here to say that we made changes to the law...and we think the process is working well. Consistency for business is always important," he said.
Expanding the ban could cause a climate of unpredictability for Maine businesses, he testified to the DEP and BEP board members Thursday.
Testimony in the public hearing focused less on the health effects, and more on policy and the precedent the ban expansion could set for other industries that use BPA, such as the toy industry.
There are also questions about alternatives to BPA, and whether those chemicals are any safer.
The DEP and the BEP is accepting written comment until September 28.