11/15/2008 - Ron Vigdor, the founder and CEO of BornFree, sells trust. More precisely, he sells baby bottles for about $5.50 that are guaranteed to contain no bisphenol A, a chemical that is widely used in $1 baby bottles. An increasing number of young parents are worried about the toxicity of BPA in bottles made with an older plastic, so they're putting their trust in Vigdor's BPA-free bottles as fast as he can make them.
Vigdor began selling his bottles in Whole Foods grocery stores in 2006, and his production capacity has grown to 1 million a year. The established companies -- which sell about 60 million baby bottles annually -- are now marketing their own BPA-free bottles and cutting production of older models. Still, the demand for BornFree products is so high, Vigdor said, "the company has had to fly orders by FedEx next-day air" from its factory in Israel. He expects that a larger manufacturer will buy his firm at a premium someday. "Let the bidding begin," he said with a laugh.
The measure would regulate every chemical outside the drug and pesticide industries, which already have rules, said Andy Igrejas, manager of the Pew Charitable Trusts' environmental advocacy campaign, who helped draft the bill in cooperation with the Environmental Working Group. If enacted, it would control the dye used in carpets, the plastic in computers, the paint in offices, the seats in autos, the pipes in plumbing, and much, much else. It's an ambitious goal, yet Igrejas and other proponents contend that they are making progress because the public is growing more concerned about stories of lead paint on toys and other environmental controversies.
Read the full article Toxic Suspicions Could Fuel Regulatory Overhaul at National Journal's Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Environmental Health Project (Kid-Safe Chemicals) on PewHealth.org.