OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5299

AN ACT CONCERNING TOXIC FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS IN CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS AND UPHOLSTERED RESIDENTIAL FURNITURE.

SUMMARY:

This bill prohibits, starting July 1, 2018, anyone from manufacturing for use in Connecticut a children's product or upholstered residential furniture with more than .01% (by weight) of certain flame retardant chemicals. And starting July 1, 2019, the bill prohibits anyone from selling or offering for sale or use in Connecticut such children's products or furniture. The bans cover the following chemicals:

1. decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE),

2. hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD or HBCDD),

3. tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP or TDCP),

4. tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP), and

5. tris(1-chloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TCPP) (see BACKGROUND).

Individuals who, for personal, family, or household purposes, use, offer for resale, or resell or distribute children's products or upholstered residential furniture are exempt from these bans.

The bill also prohibits manufacturers from replacing the banned flame retardant chemicals in children's products or upholstered residential furniture with other chemicals that are identified as:

1. harming normal development, including fetal development;

2. causing cancer, genetic damage, or reproductive harm;

3. disrupting the endocrine system;

4. damaging the nervous or immune system or organs;

5. causing other systemic toxicity; or

6. being (a) persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic or (b) very persistent and very bioaccumulative.

The identification must be based on credible scientific evidence published in peer-reviewed scientific literature generally recognized by the relevant scientific community.

The Department of Consumer Protection must enforce the bill within available appropriations. The bill does not specify penalties for failing to comply with its provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

DEFINITIONS

Children's Product

Under the bill, a “children's product” is a product, or an article used as a product's component, designed or intended primarily for use by or for children age 12 or younger, including clothing, toys, nursing pillows, crib mattresses, changing pads, and strollers.

The products do not include food, beverages, dietary supplements, pharmaceutical products, biologics, consumer electronics, off-highway motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, children's toys covered by the most recent version of ASTM F963, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, “devices” as defined under the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or products governed by certain federal motor vehicle standards (see BACKGROUND).

Upholstered Residential Furniture

“Upholstered residential furniture” means furniture with padding, coverings, and cushions intended and sold for use in the home or places of lodging.

BACKGROUND

Flame Retardant Chemicals

Flame retardant chemicals are added to consumer and industrial products to make them more resistant to fire.

HBCD (or HBCDD) and decaBDE are brominated flame retardants (i.e., they contain compounds consisting of carbon bonded to bromine). The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) identifies them as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) based on their persistence, bioaccumulativity, and toxicity. ECHA is the European Union's regulatory authority on the safe use of chemicals.

TDCP (or TDCPP), TCEP, and TCPP are chlorinated flame retardants (i.e., they contain compounds consisting of carbon bonded to chlorine). California's Environmental Protection Agency identifies TDCP and TCEP as carcinogens. ECHA identifies TCEP as an SVHC based on reproductive toxicity and is currently evaluating TCPP.

ASTM F963

ASTM International is a non-profit international organization that provides a forum for developing and publishing voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services. The organization's standard ASTM F963 provides safety specifications for toy safety.

Under the standard, a “toy” is an object designed, manufactured, or marketed as a plaything for children under age 14 (ASTM F963 3.1.81). The standard excludes several articles from its provisions, such as:

1. bicycles, tricycles, non-powered scooters, recreational powered scooters, and pocket bikes;

2. sling shots, sharp-pointed darts, and non-powder guns;

3. playground equipment;

4. kites;

5. model kits and hobby and craft items in which the finished items are not primarily of play value;

6. crayons, paints, chalks, and other similar art materials;

7. toy chests; and

8. sporting and camping goods, athletic equipment, musical instruments, and furniture (but toy counterparts are covered) (ASTM F963 1.4).

The standard also exempts juvenile products, which are consumer products designed or intended primarily for use by children but not primarily for play. They include such items as bassinets and cradles, infant bath tubs, carriages and strollers, changing tables, cribs, gates and enclosures, high chairs, play yards, infant carriers, and toddler beds.

“Devices” under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

Under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, a “device” is an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article. It includes any component, part, or accessory that (1) does not achieve its primary purpose through chemical action within or on the body, and (2) is not dependent on metabolism to achieve its primary intended purposes. The component, part, or accessory must also be:

1. recognized in the official National Formulary or the United States Pharmacopeia or their supplements;

2. intended for use in disease or condition diagnosis or in disease cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention; or

3. intended to affect body structure or function (21 U.S.C. 321(h)).

Federal Motor Vehicle Regulations

Federal regulations specify burn resistance requirements for material used in motor vehicles' child restraint systems and passenger compartments (49 C.F.R. 571.213 & 571.302).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Committee on Children

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

13

Nay

0

(03/08/2016)