Environmental groups, including the Alliance for Clean and Healthy Maine, tried to convince state regulators today to ban bisphenol-A from baby and toddler food packaging.

“Now is the perfect time for regulation in the state of Maine,” said Michael Belliveau of the alliance.

Belliveau and others argue that BPA, which is used to harden plastics, can cause health problems for children, including anxiety and obesity. The state Department of Environmental Protection and the state Board of Environmental Protection held a joint hearing in Augusta today to get public input on a proposed citizen-initiated rule to expand an existing state ban on BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.

On the other side of the issue, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and others said the new ban is unnecessary and existing state regulations are working.

“The current citizens initiative does an end run around this process and intentionally disregards the will of the Legislature,” said Ben Gilman of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

After a public comment period ends Sept. 28, the DEP will consider all the evidence and make a recommendation about whether to adopt or reject the proposed new rule.

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