The Senate Commerce Committee will hear testimony today on several bills that could ban two chemicals from children's products: formaldehyde and a substance known as BPA.
Formaldehyde is sometimes released from chemicals in personal care products like bubble bath. BPA -- bisphenol -- has been used to line baby food jar lids. Research has shown both chemicals carry potential health risks. Minnesota already bans BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.
Kathleen Schuler of the Healthy Legacy coalition says it's often difficult for consumers to figure out which products are safe.
"If you look at formaldehyde, there's a lot of chemicals that release formaldehyde but they have these long chemical names," Schuler said. "How many parents are going to be able to read a label and know that quatarium 15 will turn into formaldehyde and expose their child to something that can cause respiratory problems and has been linked to cancer from long-term exposures? So we want to make it easier for parents."
Dan Endreson, of the advocacy group Clean Water Action, says one of the bills expands a 2009 Minnesota law partially banning BPA to include baby food jars, aluminum food and formula cans.
"This would build off of that (law), and in addition it would be for all food packaging that is primarily designed and intended for children," he said.
Another bill being considered would ban the chemical formaldehyde from children's personal care products, such as bubble bath. And senators will also hear a proposal that would give state agencies more power to regulate a list of chemicals that includes lead, cadmium and certain types of flame retardants.