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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 209         FILED ON: 1/14/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 400

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Karen E. Spilka

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to protect children from bisphenol-A.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Karen E. Spilka

Second Middlesex and Norfolk


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 209        FILED ON: 1/14/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 400

By Ms. Spilka, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 400) of Karen E. Spilka for legislation to protect children from toxic toys.  Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE SENATE, NO. 382 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act to protect children from bisphenol-A.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.

              Whereas, Article 97 of the Constitution of Massachusetts provides that the people shall have the right to clean air and water; and

              Whereas, more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals have been produced for use in the U.S since World War II, yet very few were ever adequately tested for their potential impact on our health. The substances have contaminated the air we breathe, the water and food we consume, everyday products, our homes, schools, workplaces, and therefore end up in our bodies; and

              Whereas, scientific evidence increasingly links many chronic diseases with repeated and increased exposure to toxic substances. These diseases and disorders include: asthma, autism, birth defects, cancers, developmental disabilities, diabetes, endometriosis, infertility, Parkinson's disease, and others; and

              Whereas, a U.S. Centers for Disease Controls study found that 95% of Americans have detectable levels of bisphenol-A in their bodies.   In a recent CDC study the observed levels detected were at and above the concentrations known to reliably cause adverse effects in laboratory experiments.

              Whereas, more than 130 studies suggest that bisphenol-A exposure at very low doses is linked to a staggering number of health problems, including prostate and breast cancer, obesity, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, brain damage, altered immune system, lowered sperm counts, and early puberty.

              Whereas, numerous studies show that polycarbonate plastics break down and leach bisphenol-A into food or beverages in contact with the plastics. 

              Whereas, with regard to many other toxic substances, the current regulatory system has not been able to completely protect health and environment due to fundamental flaws, namely that it places high burdens on government to act, primarily after the damage is done rather than by prevention through seeking the safest alternatives to toxics as they become available.

              Whereas, the current regulatory system for toxic chemicals has particularly failed to protect vulnerable populations: the developing fetus and child; people who are vulnerable due to health conditions or genetic predispositions; and low-income communities or disadvantaged workers who are overburdened with greater exposure to these toxic substances.

              Whereas, Massachusetts is already a leader on environmental health policy as a result of the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA), which shows that there are many benefits to businesses and the economy by implementing safer alternatives for toxic chemicals; however that such act has failed to address the broader need to substantially reduce the use of harmful chemicals in products used in workplaces and homes even though safer alternatives are often available.

              Whereas, growing children are particularly at risk to chemicals in their environment because they face greater exposure and are physiologically more susceptible to them and because growing children are particularly at risk from exposure, precautionary measures must be taken to protect children from such exposure from products they use every day.

              SECTION 2. Purpose

              It is hereby resolved, that the policy goals of this Act shall be to prohibit the manufacture, sale or distribution in commerce of any toy or child care article that is intended for use by a child under 3 years of age if that product contains bisphenol-A .

              This bill would require manufacturers to use the least toxic alternative when replacing bisphenol-A in their products and would prohibit manufacturers from replacing bisphenol-A with certain carcinogens and reproductive toxicants.

              SECTION 3. Chapter 94B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 10 the following new section:-

              Section 11.   (a) Definitions

              The following words as used in this section shall have the following meanings:

              “Child care article”, means all products designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or the feeding of children three years of age or younger or to help said children with sucking or teething.

              “Infant formula”, means milk-based or soy-based powder, concentrated liquid or ready-to-feed substitute for human breast milk that is intended for infant consumption and is commercially available.

              “Baby food”, means a prepared solid food consisting of a soft paste or an easily chewed food that is intended for consumption by children three years of age or younger and is commercially available. 

              “Toy”, means all products designed or intended by the manufacturer to be used by children three years of age or younger when they play; provided however, that the commissioner of the department of public health, by regulation, may exempt categories of products that the commissioner determines do not pose a significant risk to the child. 

              (b)  Bisphenol-A

              (1)  Bisphenol-A, an estrogen-mimicking hormone disrupting chemical, is used in the production of epoxy resins and is the main ingredient in hard polycarbonate plastics.  These plastics are used in food and drink packaging applications and in cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes.

              (2)  Bisphenol-A is used in many products intended for use by young children, including but not limited to, toys, infant formula containers and baby bottles;

              (3) Commencing January 1, 2014, no person or entity shall manufacture, sell or distribute toys or child care articles in the Commonwealth containing bisphenol-A.

              (4) Commencing January 1, 2014, no person or entity shall manufacture, sell or distribute in the Commonwealth any infant formula or baby food that is stored in a plastic container, jar or can that contains bisphenol-A. 

              (c) Alternatives to Bisphenol-A

              (1) Manufacturers shall use the least toxic alternative when replacing bisphenol-A in accordance with this chapter.

              (2) Manufacturers shall not replace bisphenol-A, pursuant to this chapter, with carcinogens rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as A, B, OR C carcinogens, known to be human carcinogens, likely to be human carcinogens, or suggestive of being human carcinogens, as described in the “List of Chemicals Evaluated for Carcinogenic Potential.”

              (3) Manufacturers shall not replace bisphenol-A under this chapter with reproductive toxicants that cause birth defects, reproductive harm, or developmental harm as identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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