Source: Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut
Senate Bill 126 AAC Children’s Exposure to Chemicals would authorize the Department of Public Health to begin compiling a list of chemicals that are found to pose health and/or developmental hazards in children.
On Wednesday, April 30th, the Vermont House approved a bill that is very similar to SB 126 yet according to Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT Coordinator, Anne Hulick R.N, MSN, JD, it goes one step further than Connecticut’s proposal as it requires manufactures to disclose these chemicals in their products.
Connectiicut legislators should follow Vermont’s example and act on Senate Bill 126 AAC Children’s Exposure to Chemicals.
“The time to act is now,” said Hulick, who added, “This issue is really simple – our kids are being exposed to chemicals that are negatively impacting their health. Period. SB 126 tells Connecticut children that their health is important to us, and that corporate profits do not hold a higher priority than their well-being.”
“We’ve been waiting for more than 30 years for federal reforms to TSCA – our opponents continue to derail these efforts but then convince state lawmakers that these laws should be passed at the federal level,” added Hulick. “In the meantime, childhood cancers have increased, early puberty is becoming more common in girls, and learning and developmental disabilities affect one in six children in the United States. What are we waiting for?”
Hulick said that advocates from all over the state have been calling their lawmakers to urge them to support the bill.
“We’ll continue to fight for this legislation and others like it because our kids deserve to grow, learn and play in an environment that is free from dangerous chemicals,” said Hulick. “For as long as babies and children are sleeping on mattresses treated with flame-retardants, wearing clothing treated with formaldehyde, and playing with toys made with BPA – we’ll continue to speak up for them – we won’t go away until this issue does.”
There is no fiscal impact from requiring the Department of Public Health (DPH), in consultation with other departments, to create a list of priority chemicals of high concern and revise this list biennially. Likewise, should DPH request certain feasibility reports, there is no fiscal impact to the agency from summarizing these reports in its report to the Public Health Committee.
Three other states have lists of chemicals of high concern:
These lists are available online and include links to the scientific research that informed the inclusion of chemicals in their lists. As DPH has toxicologists on staff with expertise to review this existing research and as there is no requirement for the number of priority chemicals that must be included on this list, there is no fiscal impact to DPH anticipated from this requirement.
Here is the proposed legislation:
Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than January 1, 2015, the Commissioner of Public Health, in consultation with the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, shall create and maintain a list of priority chemicals that are of high concern after considering a child’s or developing fetus’s potential for exposure to each chemical. The Commissioner of Public Health may include on the list priority chemicals that (1) are published on a list of harmful chemicals created by a state or federal government agency, or (2) meet one or more of the following criteria: (A) Credible biomonitoring studies have demonstrated the presence of the chemical in human umbilical cord blood, breast milk, urine or other bodily tissues or fluids; (B) the priority chemical has been found through sampling and analysis to be present in household dust, indoor air, drinking water or elsewhere in the home environment; or (C) the priority chemical has been added to or is present in a consumer product used or present in the home.
(b) Said commissioners shall review and revise the list of priority chemicals at least once every two years and shall consider adding priority chemicals that meet the criteria set forth in subdivisions (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section to said list.
(c) Not later than July 1, 2015, and biennially thereafter, the Commissioner of Public Health shall report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health on the status of the list of priority chemicals created and maintained in accordance with this section. Such report shall include, but need not be limited to: (1) Recommendations to reduce children’s exposure to priority chemicals on the list; (2) a list of products that contain priority chemicals on the list and that may lead to a child’s exposure to a priority chemical; (3) a summary of actions taken in other states to restrict children’s exposure to priority chemicals on the list; (4) an evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of measures to reduce children’s exposure to priority chemicals on the list, including reporting, product labeling, public advisories, product bans and steps to phase out the sale of products; and (5) an assessment of the feasibility of phasing out or banning products containing priority chemicals on the list, including an analysis of the feasibility of replacing the use of priority chemicals with safer chemicals in such products.
(d) The Commissioner of Public Health may require persons located in the state who manufacture or distribute products intended for children that contain priority chemicals on the list to conduct an assessment of the feasibility of replacing such priority chemicals with safer alternatives in such products and to report to the commissioner concerning the results of such assessment. The commissioner may include a summary of any such reports received from such manufacturers or distributors in the report described in subsection (c) of this section.