California Lawmakers OK Bans on Trans Fats, Chemical in Kids’ Toys
The Assembly on Tuesday approved a bill (SB 490) that would prohibit school cafeterias and vending machines from selling food products with artificial trans fats, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The measure, by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara), would apply to kindergarten through 12th grades. The Senate must pass the legislation before it can be sent to the governor (McGreevy/Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 9/5).
The Senate on Tuesday approved a bill (AB 1108) that would ban from toys and products for young children a chemical additive that has been linked to testicular injuries, liver cancer and other liver problems, the AP/Los Angeles Daily News reports (Young, AP/Los Angeles Daily News, 9/4).
The measure, by Assembly member Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), would prohibit the manufacture, sale and distribution of products that contain certain phthalates, a group of chemical compounds used to add flexibility to plastics (Geissinger, San Jose Mercury News, 9/5).
Phthalates are listed under California's Proposition 65 as reproductive toxins. The U.S. is the only country in North America where products containing the chemical can be purchased for newborns and infants, according to Ma (Los Angeles Times, 9/5).
Opponents of the measure contend that phthalates have been used safely for 40 years, but supporters argue that an increasing number of studies have linked the chemical to health problems.
Aides to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said he will not make a decision until he has studied the bill (San Jose Mercury News, 9/5).