OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5035

AN ACT CONCERNING TOXIC FIRE RETARDANTS IN CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS.

SUMMARY:

This bill bans, starting October 1, 2015, the sale or manufacture of certain children's products that contain certain chemicals used as fire retardants. It requires the consumer protection commissioner to impose civil penalties on people who sell or manufacture these products after that date.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

BANNED PRODUCTS

The bill bans anyone from selling, manufacturing, offering for sale, or distributing clothing, toys, nursing pillows, crib mattresses, changing pads, strollers, car seats, or other products designed or intended primarily for use by children age three or younger, if these products contain (1) “TDCPP” or “TDCP” (tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate), (2) “TCEP” (tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate), or (3) “TCPP” tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate. It exempts products governed by federal motor vehicle regulations (see BACKGROUND).

The prohibition does not apply to individuals who resell, offer for resale, or distribute these products primarily for personal, family, or household purposes (e.g., someone selling these products at a tag sale).

The consumer protection (DCP) commissioner must enforce the ban, within available appropriations. He must, after notice and a hearing, impose a maximum civil penalty of $1,000 per day for first-time violations and $2,500 per day for subsequent violations. The penalties must be paid into DCP's consumer protection enforcement account, which DCP uses to pay for enforcement of licensing and registration laws.

BACKGROUND

Chemical Use and Concerns

These chemicals are added to consumer and industrial products to make them more resistant to fire. But the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of TCDP in children's clothing in 1977 after it was found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. According to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, TDCP and TCEP exposure has been linked to increased cancer in laboratory animals, but there is limited information available on their health effects on people.

Federal Motor Vehicle Regulations

Federal regulations specify burn resistance requirements for materials used in motor vehicles' passenger compartments (49 CFR 571.302)

COMMITTEE ACTION

Committee on Children

Joint Favorable

Yea

10

Nay

2

(03/11/2014)