Biomonitoring Bill Back in Senate
Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) on Wednesday introduced a bill (SB 1379) that would create a statewide biomonitoring program to measure toxic chemicals in people's bodies, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. This is the third time the bill has been introduced.
The Legislature last year approved the bill, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoed it, saying that the public had inadequate information to understand the health implications of chemicals found in their bodies.
Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) said he would co-author the bill and work to secure funding for the program during state budget negotiations.
The California Medical Association, the Breast Cancer Fund, Commonweal and other environmental groups support the program, which is expected to cost an estimated $1.7 million (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/11).
In related news, about 100 chemical industry representatives met in Los Angeles on Wednesday to discuss policies addressing exposure to toxic compounds in consumer products and the environment.
The meeting was held after a University of California report released in March found that state laws do not adequately protect the public from toxic chemicals, some of which have been found to cause cancer, reproductive damage or altered hormones.
The report recommended that lawmakers develop a proposal by 2007 to elicit more health and safety data on chemicals, tighten restrictions on some chemicals and encourage safer substitutes.
Some industry representatives expressed concerns about misguided policy and a "burgeoning paper flow" that would lead to chemical production being shifted to other countries, the Los Angeles Times reports (Cone, Los Angeles Times, 5/11).