Baby bottles and sports bottles sold in Washington state will soon have to be free of the chemical bisphenol A under a measure signed into law on Friday by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

The measure, overwhelmingly passed by the House and Senate earlier this month, bans the manufacture and sale of food and drink containers made with bisphenol A – also known as BPA – if they’re intended for children under age 3. Sports water bottles made with the chemical are also banned.

The ban on children’s containers would go into effect July 1, 2011, and the ban on sports bottles would take effect July 1, 2012.

“Parents are demanding BPA-free items for their kids,” said Ivy Sager-Rosenthal, with the Washington Toxics Coalition, an environmental group that lobbied for the bill. “This bill just reinforces that Washington is serious about protecting public health.”

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