Legislation Addresses Chemicals That Might Have Negative Health Effects
Assembly member Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) has introduced a bill (AB 908) that would prohibit the sale and manufacture of products containing phthalates, chemicals added to plastics and other products that some say affect users' health, the Sacramento Bee reports. At a press conference Wednesday, Chu said that phthalates can lead to cancer, infertility and birth defects.
In addition, Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill (SB 484) that would require cosmetic manufacturers to report to the Department of Health Services all ingredients that could cause cancer or other reproductive side effects. Migden said, "If they're identified as carcinogens, the consumers of America ought to know about it."
Michael Thompson of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, which represents 600 cosmetic manufacturers, said that the use of phthalates in California is adequately regulated (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 3/31).
According to the Oakland Tribune, the legislation is similar to regulatory efforts undertaken by the European Union (Fischer, Oakland Tribune, 3/31).
In related news, Assembly member Wilma Chan (D-Oakland) has introduced legislation (AB 319) that would ban bisphenol A -- a chemical found in some consumer products, including liners inside canned food packaging and some water containers -- as well as certain forms of phthalates in toys and child care articles, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The bill would prohibit the manufacture or sale of any product containing bisphenol A that is intended for use by a child three years of age or younger.
Chan said some studies indicate that bisphenol A and some phthalates can cause hormone and nerve damage in young children. She said, "We just shouldn't have these products on the market in California."
Industry representatives say nationwide tests compiled by CDC show that bisphenol A levels in consumer products are too low to be harmful.
If the bill is enacted, California would be the first state to restrict the use of bisphenol A (Kay, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/31).