Board will consider issue at mid-October hearings

Multnomah County would ban the sale of reusable beverage containers made with plastic containing Bisphenol A, or BPA, under an order proposed Tuesday by Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen.

The measure would ban the sale of products containing BPA that have largely been phased out of the market, including baby bottles, children's spill-proof cups, sippy cups, sports bottles, thermoses and other reusable containers for beverages.

A similar measure failed to pass in the Oregon Legislature this year, due to strong opposition from the chemical and agriculture industries.

Hundreds of studies have shown possible adverse health effects from BPA, which can leach from plastic drink containers.

Cogen said he would brief his fellow county commissioners about the plan on Oct. 18, and then collect public testimony at both the Oct. 18 and Oct. 27 board meetings.

The order would not affect the use of BPA in other products, such as the linings of canned food, at least for now.

However, the proposal directs the county Health Department to continue monitoring emerging scientific research on BPA, and make recommendations about additional steps that would reduce children's exposure to the toxic chemical.

Oregon's agriculture industry is concerned about potential restrictions of canned food using BPA, because it protects against botulism and other food contamination.

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