JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT PROHIBITING THE USE OF BISPHENOL-A IN THERMAL RECEIPT PAPER AND INCREASING THE DUTIES OF THE CHEMICAL INNOVATIONS INSTITUTE.
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Se. Meyer, 12th Dist.
REASONS FOR BILL:
Bisphenol-A is highly toxic and a threat to our health.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
The following organizations testified:
Tom Kemble, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice: BPA is found on half of the cash register receipts we handle every day, in the form of a powdery substance that rubs off on our hands and can be absorbed through the skin. BPA is linked with cancers, early puberty, altered brain development, metabolic disturbances such as obesity and insulin resistance and other serious medical problems.
Mark Mitchell M.D., MPH, and President of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice: We need to act now to control the spread of unbound BPA on thermal receipts. BPA exposure is linked to prostate and breast cancer, obesity, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity disorder, lower sperm count and early onset of puberty. Bisphenol S is a readily available alternative, however we do not know if it is a safer alternative since safety and health information is not available. The Toxic Substances Control Act gives the EPA very limited authority to require testing of chemicals. Connecticut needs to take the lead both in banning BPA and in the area of comprehensive chemical reform. We support the Connecticut Chemical Innovations Institute's expanded role in identifying chemicals of concern although the concept needs more work in order to allow it to do this while retaining its ability to carry out its original mission.
Steven Schrag, Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety and Health: BPA is used in many thermal paper receipts. It easily transmits to hands and into our skin. BPA has been connected to serious diseases including breast and prostate cancers, reproductive disorders, obesity and insulin resistance diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's as well as asthma, reproductive disorders and learning and behavioral disorders. Parents should not have to wonder whether common household products, bedding, toys or food can linings are damaging their children's futures!
Pamela Puchalski, Coordinator for the Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety Health's (ConnectiCOSH) Safer Chemicals in the Workplace Campaign: We need to ban BPA from thermal paper receipts. It is an endocrine-disruptor. It is linked to breast and prostate cancers, learning and behavioral disorders, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, reproductive disorders, erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. It is estimated 50,000-60,000 deaths occur in our country every year due to occupational toxic chemical exposures and other occupational illnesses. (leigh, et al, 2000; NIOSH; Steenland, et, al, 2003). ConnectiCOSH promotes safer chemicals, safer products and safer jobs. Legislators need to do the same and vote for SB 210.
Mia Davis, Co-Leader, National Workgroup for Safe Markets: BPA is a hormone disruptor with estrogenic properties. It disrupts the body's endocrine system and can have negative effects on many organs in the body. BPA has been linked to breast and prostate cancers. Exposure to BPA in the womb, in infantry or during child development is particularly
concerning because the body is undergoing growth and development and chronic exposure to BPA can lead to serious and irreversible health effects that might not surface for years (like onset of puberty or breast cancer. Sunoco has begun requiring customers to guarantee that BPA manufactured by Sunoco is not used in food and water contact applications for children under three years of age. The company will no longer sell BPA to customers who cannot make this promise.
John Murphy, The Connecticut Citizen Action Group: BPA is found in ATM machines, gas pumps, and cash registers. BPA is unbound and transmits to our hands and through the skin and in turn is transmitted to others. Store clerks in check out lines that handle these receipt papers for hours on end, each day. BPA is linked to breast and prostate cancers, reproductive disorders, obesity and insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Pregnant mothers can unknowingly transmit this chemical to their developing fetus by doing the weekly grocery shopping. BPA in receipts is an example of why the U.S. congress needs to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Anne Hulick, Coordinator of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut (CSHC): BPA is in thermal paper and transmits to the hands. A study done by the Washington Toxics Coalition, showed that up to 2.5 mcg of BPA transferred to a person's hands after holding the receipt for only ten minutes. Over 200 independent studies document that very low doses are linked to breast and prostate cancer, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, altered development of brain and immune systems, lowered sperm count and early puberty. BPA is associated with the rise in incidence of many serious diseases. For example: childhood cancer, specifically leukemia and brain cancer increased more than 20% between 1975 and 1990. Healthcare costs and costs to businesses, as a direct result is unsustainable. The Chemical Innovations Institute, when funded will be a tremendous resource to state businesses and agencies to assist with shifting to safer alternatives.
Susan Eastwood, Clean Water Action and the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut: BPA is a known hormone disrupter and has been linked to cancer, infertility and early puberty. BPA was also found on cash register receipts and dollar bills. Of 22 dollar bills tested, including some from Connecticut, 21 one of them were contaminated with BPA(www.saferchemicals.org). Last year the President's Cancer Panel Report stated that exposure to toxic chemicals is a serious risk factor for many cancers and called for urgent reform of ineffective chemical laws. The Chemical Innovations Institute is a good step in achieving that goal in Connecticut.
Mary Jane Williams, PH.D., RN chairperson of Government Relations Committee for the Connecticut Nurses Association and professor emeritus from Central Connecticut State University: BPA is found in plastic baby and water bottles, coatings inside metal food and drink cans, paints, adhesives and other products. BPA is commonly found in thermal labels, tickets and tags. BPA absorption is also linked to sexual dysfunction in men.
The volunteers who staff the Chemical Innovations Institute should utilize the coalition as a means to bring forward lists of toxic chemicals as they are published and shared by other reputable sources until they find funding.
Lisa Cull, Central Connecticut Oncology Nurses Society: BPA is linked to breast and prostate cancers, reproductive disorders, insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We have made significant improvements in cancer treatment however; we are challenged to identify the chemicals that cause cancer. There is enough evidence to indicate that we should reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals whenever possible and urged support of SB 210.
Joyce Acebo Raguskus, Chairman of Diesel Cleanup, Environmental Concerns Coalition and Coalition for Safe and Healthy Connecticut: BPA should be reviewed as a top toxic chemical (references article she wrote titled Snow Melts Toxic Chemicals Don't). She was exposed to BPA and then diagnosed with breast cancer when her son was 12 years old. There are toxins everywhere and they need to be cleaned up. She supports the Chemical Innovations Institute.
Gretchen Raffa, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England: BPA is a hormone disruptor and is harmful at both low and high doses of exposure. BPA effects the ability of women to become pregnant, have a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy child Planned Parenthood is committed to promoting reproductive justice and a woman's right to control her reproductive destiny.
Martin Mador, Legislative Chairman Sierra Club- Connecticut Chapter: BPA is a threat to our health. It is linked to reproductive disorders, endocrine disorders, cancer, brain development and fat metabolism. SB 210 reduces our exposure to toxic substances and allows a lead time of several years to allow industry to switch to a safer alternative. It charges the Chemical Innovations Institute with identifying toxic substances. The bill is non-directive as to how the institute would carry out their agenda and the Sierra suggests adding the reporting requirement the committee with cognizance of public health, known as the Public Health Committee. It is recommended the legislature work with Dr. Tim Morse, Director of the institute, to continue the process of defining the institute.
Children's' Environmental Health Center at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine: BPA is a toxic chemical that affects the endocrine system and is associated with cancer, obesity and diabetes. Eliminating BPA from thermal paper will protect the health of the public and especially of fetuses and children who are most vulnerable to exposures to toxic chemicals.
Connecticut Public Health Association: BPA is an endocrine disruptor and is contained in baby and water bottles, food storage containers and linings in food cans. It is a hormone disrupting chemical and is linked to breast and prostate cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, weakened immune systems. Other diseases include infertility, miscarriages, premature births and early puberty. A study by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition and the Washington Toxics Coalition revealed that 50% of the thermal paper receipts tested had large quantities of unbound BPA and 95% of the dollar bills tested positive for lower amounts. Passage of SB 210 will help future generations are protected from exposure to BPA.
Judy Sparer, New Haven, Ct: It makes good sense to provide some assistance to those who want to eliminate harmful chemicals in their products, chemicals which their workers also handle, but need some help in figuring out how to do that.
Beka Apostolidis of Cromwell, Ct: Is very concerned about toxic chemicals in products we use every day, like receipts. In particular, she is concerned about children's exposure to these chemicals. A nurse and a cancer survivor she realizes that the cause of cancer and many serious diseases are unclear. More and more scientific research shows that exposure to toxic chemicals is linked with these diseases. With over 82,000 chemicals in commerce and new evidence of things like BPA on cash and ATM receipts, we must adopt laws that apply the precautionary principle. We need to focus on prevention as well as treatment.
Laura Anderson, Wethersfield, Ct: She is a concerned parent and a certified school psychologist. She supports the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut legislative agenda to ban the use of BPA in ATM and cash register receipts. BPA when absorbed by the body acts as an estrogen, potentially disrupting the natural functioning of one's endocrine system. At low doses, it has been associated with the development of many serious health problems, including breast cancer, infertility (miscarriages are “infertility”), thyroid disorders and disorders in children. When tested, about 95% of Americans show the presence of BPA in their blood stream. Most people are unaware that it's not only the factory smoke down the street that's polluting us, it's the chemicals in products we bring into our homes and use every day.
Chris Corcoran, West Hartford, Ct: Strongly supports SB 210.
Tim Morse, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Chemical Innovations Institute, University of Connecticut: There are over 80,000 chemicals in common use in the United States and yet there is extensive data gaps concerning toxicity and usage patterns of those chemicals. The Toxic Substances Control Act and the chemical regulations by OSHA are inadequate and out of date. The Chemical Innovations Institute was created by the legislature last year, minus funding. Currently, they are seeking alternative funding from private foundations and individuals and as a result their achievements have been limited. They would like to work with the committee to optimize the role of the institute. They propose a study of existing lists where the institute would work with the board and state agencies to provide the legislature with recommendations. Chemicals have a vast amount of applications and uses and safer alternatives are very application specific. There is no central repository of safer alternatives; therefore it would not be feasible to develop a list of safer alternatives. It would be beneficial to understand the chemical usage patterns in state workplaces in relation to potential lists of chemicals of high concern so that educational and outreach activities can have maximum value. The proposed expansion of the institute's duties would be covered under Section I of Public Act 10-64 which states we would not be required to carry out those duties if they were not able to secure funding.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Grocery Manufacturers Association, Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA): Section 2B of SB 210 cedes authority over the development of policy and future use of chemicals and the future use of chemicals in commerce in the State of Connecticut to an
unfunded, nearly nonexistent Chemical Innovations Institute. This legislation cedes the discretion of the Connecticut State Legislature and indeed the authority of the State of Connecticut to an unelected academic organization without benefit of a defined risk assessment process, nor even a mention of legislative or state agency oversight. The problems associated with the process outlined in this legislation are further exacerbated by the provision which would allow the institute to “consider the standards of any state, federal or international organization” in compiling the list. The federal government handles the study and evaluation of chemicals for approval for use in food and consumer products. This legislature clearly has the mandate to protect the citizens of the state; we would ask that you 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. Additionally, this legislation does not take into consideration any process for alternatives assessment. We believe that the committee should consider the minimum scientific credentials that might be required for a “state, federal or international organization” to be considered a source.
Stephen Rosario, Senior Director, Northeast Region for the American Chemistry Council: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been assessing BPA and alternatives in thermal paper and has not found any health or environmental reason to stop using thermal paper containing BPA. There is no scientific data available to assess alternatives. The EPA has proposed a regulation to establish a list of chemicals of concern. The institute should not be forced to duplicate work completed by reputable organizations applying risk based science. The Department of Health and Human Services, National Library of Medicine and the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry are just a few. Creation of a list will add uncertainty and unpredictability to the business environment because companies will not know from year to year which companies will be on the list. The legislature should direct the institute to create an open and transparent process.
Eric Brown, Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA): CBIA strongly opposes the proposed changes in section 2 of SB 210. They worked diligently with advocates and the committee to reach a compromise on the original bill first proposed last year. The most important issue for CBIA was that the institute not be directly involved in advocacy. The record clearly indicates that the modification proposed in section 2 of Bill No. 210 is directly counter to the intent and purpose of the chemical institute.
Maureen E. O'Reilly