Chemical bills proliferate

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 2, 2007 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

A cursory review of the list of environmental bills introduced this year indicates that bills concerning chemical usage are high on the priority list of a number of legislators.  The purpose of these bills runs the gamut from additional reporting requirements to limitation in use to outright bans. 

Among the proposed chemicals to be banned are decaBDE (a fire retardant), diacetyl (a butter flavoring), phthalates and bisphenol-A (used in most plastics), formaldehyde (used in composite wood manufacturing), and perfluorinated compounds (incorporated in polymers for stain and/or flammability protection).

In March of 2006, Professor Michael Wilson of UC Berkeley’s California Policy Research Center presented conclusions from his two-year study, done for the State Senate and Assembly Environmental Committees, that evaluated the need for California to implement some or all of the regulations in the European Union’s REACH initiative (registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals).  He recommended the development of a chemical reporting system to close the data gap, an expansion of regulatory authority and a new state agency to evaluate chemicals of concern.  Many of this year’s chemical bills address these issues while others appear to bypass the comprehensive policy approach that he advocated and instead issue bans.

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