SELECT COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN

joint FAVORABLE REPORT

BILL NO.:

HB-5314

TITLE:

AN ACT BANNING CADMIUM IN CHILDREN'S JEWELRY.

VOTE DATE:

3/9/2010

VOTE ACTION:

JOINT FAVORABLE SUBSTITUTE CHANGE OF REFERENCE TO ENVIRONMENT

PH DATE:

3/2/2010

FILE NO.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Select Committee on Children

REASONS FOR BILL:

The bill is aimed at protecting children from the harm caused by exposure to cadmium in children's jewelry.

For Proposed Substitute Bill 5314 (as contained in LCO No. 2190), strips the underlining bill to address only cadmium in children's jewelry. Bill has completely new title. Original bill was concerned with child safe products and banning cadmium in children's products.

Amendment A – Changes in lines 18 and 20 by striking “containers, jars, or cans” and replacing with “children's jewelry”.

Amendment B – Changes line 12 to read October 1, 2013; deletes subsection C; and renames subsection D to be subsection C.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None Expressed.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Rep. Chris Perone, 137th District: “Current state law bars packaging or any packaging component from being offered for sale or promotional purposes in this state, by its manufacturer or distributor, if it is composed of cadmium.” But, when it comes to the contents of the packaging, state law is silent. Prolonged exposure to cadmium has been shown to damage the central nervous system and a recent University of Cincinnati medical school study showed cadmium to lower IQ more than lead.

Anne Hulick, RN, Environmental Health Coordinator, CT Nurses Association: This bill builds on Connecticut's successes in phasing out toxic chemicals, such as lead and Bisphenol-A from children's products. Independent research demonstrates that these chemicals are carcinogens, neurotoxins and endocrine-disruptors. Exposure to toxic chemicals is number one suspect in rise of many diseases.

Sarah Uhl, Environmental Health Coordinator, Clean Water Action: Cadmium is classified as a known human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program in the US. Due to health concerns, Connecticut and 18 other states have passed legislation restricting cadmium in packaging materials.

Gretchen Raffa, Planned Parenhood of Southern New England: New studies demonstrate that environmental contaminants and exposure to chemicals can have a detrimental effect on one's reproductive health. Scientific evidence shows that some industrial chemicals act as endocrine disruptors which can cause serious risks for women's health such as infertility and breast cancer.

Carolyn Stearns, Mansfield: Mother of a daughter who, at age 28, had Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer. “Childhood and youth should be protected from the onslaught of everyday chemicals.” Children don't read labels it is our job and Government's to protect the innocent.

Laura Anderson, Wethersfield: Participated in the biomonitoring project called “Is It In Us?” Her results indicated that, like 95% of the US population, she carried bisphenol-A, phthalates, and PBDE's in her body. “Much of our exposure to these chemicals is in our own homes, cars and workplaces.”

Erika Correa, The Learning Disabilites Association of CT: She is a registered nurse and parent. “Even small exposures to some chemicals, such as cadmium, can cause learning and developmental problems in children and developing fetuses. Developmental and learning disabilities are a heavy burden on our community and educational system.”

Sue Harkness, Conversations for a Green Connecticut: Most of us do not have the knowledge necessary to know everything about dangerous chemicals. She was shocked to learn that cadmium was in children's jewelry.

Colleen O'Connor, CT Public Health Association (CPHA): Supports bill. “Manufacturers, particularly those based in India and China, are replacing lead with cadmium as lead has been banned from children's products in many states.” Cadmium exposure should be limited in children as much as possible to prevent possible health effects in children, and the accumulation of cadmium which may cause diseases later in life. CPHA urges Environment Committee to also act favorably on HB 5314.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Jill Chuckas, Owner, Crafty Baby: Cadmium has no place being added to children's products but has a number of concerns such as cadmium is already addressed by the federal government. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has authority to regulate cadmium in children's jewelry under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. She is concerned about creating competing mandates at the state level.

Toy Industry Association (TIA): TIA has approximately 20-member companies in CT with over 500 employees. Bill will create unnecessary burden on companies doing business in state. “This legislation would attempt to place a ban on cadmium in children's products; however, federal law preempts Connecticut from including toys in this prohibition.” The broad regulation of jewelry provided in bill, would incorporate toy jewelry into its definition.

Gregory J. Costa, Director, State Affairs, Grocery Manufacturers Association: “While this legislature clearly has the mandate to protect the citizens of this state, I would ask that you also consider the level of expertise and dedication of our public servants at the FDA, EPA and other federal agencies that work to safeguard the public's health and safety.”

REPORTED BY: Elizabeth S. Giannaros, Clerk

DATE: March 15, 2010