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BPA ban gets OK from Schenectady County legislature

"It's bad governance and I encourage you vote against it," said McGarry.

Otherwise, the new legislation was met with positive reception during the public hearing. During the Legislature debate and vote, the bill was met with no opposition.

"As parents, we have enough to worry about and we shouldn't have to worry about buying products for our children that are harmful," said Santabarbara.

"I'm a father of two and I wouldn't want to take any chances with my children and I'm sure you wouldn't want to take chances with your children," said Santabarbara.

He went on to note that other government bodies have already recognized the risks of BPA. He said several counties and states are considering a ban and many companies have already voluntarily started banning BPA. As public awareness rises, safer alternatives are becoming more available, said Santabarbara.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D -Brooklyn, introduced a similar law to ban BPA from children's products and the Suffolk County Legislature passed itsown local legislation.

"If we don't take action that's an irresponsible thing to do," said Santabarbara. "I introduced this back in March because I'm concerned and I urge everyone to show unified support of this proposal," he said.

Joe Suhrada, R-Rotterdam, said that while he was generally for the ban, he had spoken with many members of the scientific community who were still debating the issue.

"I'm very pleased to see that the county is working on this in a bipartisan matter. I will support this tonight. I have spoken to many people within the scientific community and there appears to be some split there, but we should err on the side of caution when it comes to products that go into our children's bodies," said Suhrada.

He also commented on the environmental impact of BPA.

"[Imagine] the trickle down effect of products entering the waste stream and contaminating water," said Suhrada.

Santabarabra also commended the Legislature for working together on the issue and said he hopes the law serves as a model for higher levels of government.

"As the elected representatives of Schenectady County, we are closest to the people and our voice needs to be heard," said Santabarbara. "There is a better way and we need to encourage it. I commend the county Legislature for working together for what is in the best interest of our communities. I look forward to continuing our cooperative efforts on future proposals for the betterment of our residents."

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