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Recommendations for the Federal Government

  • Product Bans: The federal government should ban the use of BPA and DEHP in all plastic products specifically intended for use and contact by children below the age of three.
  • Labeling: The federal government should mandate that all plastic products be labeled to indicate their chemical ingredients and country of origin. This would require a new coding system that would permit the consumer to easily associate ingredients with codes. This coding system should be different from the current numerical recycling code.
  • Warnings: The federal government should warn pregnant women, and women intending to become pregnant, to avoid consuming food or beverages from containers made from BPA or DEHP.
  • Fragrances: The federal government should require labeling to disclose the phthalate ingredients in fragrances, air fresheners, scented candles, dryer sheets, and other consumer products that are commonly found in children’s environments.
  • Reference Dose (RfD) Periodic Review: The EPA and FDA should review their acceptable exposure limits (RfDs) for DEHP and BPA ingredients in plastics at least every five years. RfDs for both BPA and DEHP are more than 15 years old, yet relatively recent peer-reviewed scientific reports show that low-dose exposures are becoming increasingly important. When establishing acceptable exposure limits for packaging ingredients in foods, the FDA should continue to employ a 1,000-fold uncertainty factor to judge acceptable human exposure.
  • Certification: The federal government should develop and require a Plastics Certification System modeled after the Food Production Act of 1990 that establishes an accurate labeling system that identifies plastics free from BPA, DEHP, lead and other potentially hazardous compounds.
  • Biomonitoring: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should expand its human tissue-sampling program (NHANES) to test for plastic ingredients in human tissues every two years within individual states.

Recommendations for the State Government

  • States should prohibit the sale of baby bottles that contain BPA.
  • States should work together to require the federal government to ban the use of BPA and DEHP in all plastic products specifically intended for use by children beneath the age of three. In lieu of federal action, states should pass such legislation.
  • States should work together to encourage the federal government to mandate that all plastic products be labeled to indicate their chemical ingredients and country of origin.
  • States should pass a “Bottle Bill” that would place a deposit on all plastic bottles and thus improve their recovery rate and reduce their disposal in landfills and incinerator plants.
  • States should test underground aquifers that provide drinking water for chemical contaminants from plastics.

Recommendations for Local Governments

  • Towns and cities should provide curbside recycling for all plastics.
  • Local health departments should encourage schools to reduce their use of plastics.
  • Local health Departments should encourage parents to use glass bottles when feeding infants.

Recommendations for Schools,Hospitals, and Institutions

  • Schools, hospitals, and other institutions should reduce their use of plastics. Their purchasing departments should try to avoid buying PVC and polycarbonate plastics.
  • Hospitals should use medical equipment that is DEHP-free.
  • Maternity departments should encourage new parents to use glass bottles when feeding their infants.

Recommendations for Individuals

  • Use glass baby bottles when feeding infants.
  • Avoid using plastic containers and plastic wraps in microwave ovens.
  • Avoid the use of scented candles, air fresheners, dryer sheets, and other heavily scented products, as many contain phthalates.
  • Avoid exposure to BPA and DEHP during pregnancy.
  • Do not store plastic water bottles under conditions of extreme heat. Heat may cause some plastic ingredients to leach out of the plastic at a faster rate.
  • Ask your dentist if BPA is in the dental sealants. If so, ask for BPA-free sealants.
  • Teach children not to drink water directly from garden hoses, since many hoses are plastic and contain DEHP.
  • Reduce your consumption of plastics. Average consumers purchase more than 200 pounds per year. Purchase materials that are recyclable or biodegradable.

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