OAKLAND, CA — Bills in 30 states set to be announced tomorrow plan to go after chemicals in a variety of ways, from bans of individual chemicals to reforming state and federal policies.
Although recent attempts to change the federal government's current approach to chemicals — which is centered on making the government responsible for proving chemicals are dangerous before it can ban them — have failed, 11 states will introduce resolutions that call for reform of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, according to advocacy coalition Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
Two bills brought into the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives last year proposed making industry responsible for proving chemicals are safe before putting them on the market, along with other reforms.
Nine states, meanwhile, will see proposed legislation attempting to change their own state-level chemical regulation policies.
The remainder of the bills will focus on specific chemicals, with the possibility of nearly tripling the number of bills that ban bisphenol A (BPA).
Eight states — Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin — have bans on BPA in certain products, mainly baby bottles and children's items.
By Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families' count, 17 states and the District of Columbia will be looking at new legislation to ban BPA from baby bottles, infant formula packaging, receipt paper or a combination of items.
Legislation in eight states will focus on getting cadmium out of children's products, and three states and the District of Columbia will see bills intended to take deca BDE, a flame retardant, out of consumer products.
Since the U.S. set tighter restrictions on lead, other chemicals like cadmium have gained more attention, such as when the Associated Press found many manufacturers started using cadmium after being forced to cut lead use, Walmart pulled a line of jewelry that was tainted with cadmium, and the chemical popped up in Shrek-themed drinking glasses at McDonald's.
Image - CC license by Flickr user MonkeySimon