Date of Hearing:
April 25, 2006
ON ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY AND TOXIC MATERIALS
Ira Ruskin, Chair
AB 2516 (Tran) - As Introduced: February 23, 2006
Toxic Substances: PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) -
chemicals can be found in recycled carpet pad
Provides a temporary exemption to the ban on the processing of recycled
materials containing PBDEs. *Proposal to ban PBDEs from carpet pad
among other consumer products making less toxic carpet pad
Creates a temporary
exemption, sunsetting on January 1, 2011, to the ban on the
processing of recycled materials, in accordance
with all applicable state
and federal laws, that contain more than one-tenth of one percent
pentaBDE or octaBDE.
Bans the manufacture, process, distribution in commerce of a
product, or a flame retardant part of a product
containing more than
one-tenth of one percent of pentaBDE or octaBDE after June1, 2006.
PBDE's Manufacturers of consumer products commonly add
flame-retardant chemicals to plastics and other flammable
materials to reduce the risk of fire. Brominated flame
retardants are chemicals that reduce the spread of fire in
a variety of common products such as electronic casings,
polyurethane foam, and commercial textiles. The most studied brominated flame retardants are the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
which were first introduced into the market thirty years
PBDEs are closely related in structure and behavior of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs are known to have neurotoxic
and carcinogenic action and were banned by
Congress in 1976. Such similarity of the chemicals' molecular structures raises concern about potential
biological hazards associated with PBDEs.
Studies suggest that PBDEs, carried by women and passed on to their
babies in the womb, may cause damage to the
nervous system during development and disrupt thyroid endocrine
balance. Researchers believe that they may
impair intelligence and motor skills in children. According to the
author, Swedish studies show that the levels of PBDE in human
breastmilk have increased 40-fold since 1972. North American
breastmilk samples contain 40 times the amount of PBDEs found in
Swedish samples and as mentioned above, breast tissue from a San
Francisco Bay Area women show some of the highest levels of PBDE yet
found in people.
Need for the bill According to the Carpet Cushion
Council, adoption of laws banning pentaBDE without
providing exemptions for recycled material / recycling have a
profound adverse effect upon the recycling industry, the
retailers and distributors of carpet cushion, the manufacturers of
bonded carpet cushion, and the public.
PBDE bans without exemptions for recycling will render the take-up
foam carpet cushion valueless. This results in
collectors and recyclers declining to handle what had been
recyclable materials, leaving to the retailer or
distributor the task and expense of dealing with the removed
materials in the form of increased trash disposal
load and accompanying costs.
Arguments in opposition: Opponents to the measure state
that the risk to human health and the environment is too
great to allow pentaBDE and octaBDE back into peoples' homes.
They view the measure as a loophole to the original
law that should not be allowed. * Allowing un
healthy carpet pad in our homes
Other States : Eight states (California, Hawaii,
Illinois, Oregon, Maryland, Michigan, Maine and New York)
have enacted bans limiting pentaBDE and octaBDE in products.
Some of these states allow an exemption from the
ban for recycling/ recycled materials. Six states have
permanent exemptions for metallic recyclables (including
California). Three states (Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan)
permanently exempt processing of recycled material /
recycling from the ban. Two additional states (Maine and
New York) are interpreted as exempting recycled material /
AB 302 (Chan) Chapter 205, Statutes of 2003 established
the ban on pentaBDE and octaBDE with a permanent exemption for
metallic recyclables and an effective date of January 1, 2008.
AB 2587 (Chan) Chapter 641, Statutes of 2004) changed the effective
date of the ban to June 1, 2006 and made
technical, clarifying changes to definitions.
SUPPORT / OPPOSITION :
Carpet Pad Recycling
Danny Recycling, Inc.
Legget and Platt, Inc.
S and D Carpet Pad
Sunrise Pad and Foam
Sunshine Pad and Foam
Communities Against Toxics
Planning and Conservation
California Safe Schools
Breast Cancer Fund
Association of California
Sierra Club California
Prepared by : Caroll Mortensen / E.S. &
T.M. / (916)