BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1681
                                                                  Page 1

          AB 1681 (Pavley)
          As Amended April 19, 2005
          Majority vote 

           ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY           5-2                   
          APPROPRIATIONS      13-5        
          |Ayes:|Ruskin, Chu, De La Torre, |Ayes:|Chu, Bass, Berg,          |
          |     |Goldberg, Pavley          |     |Calderon, Mullin,         |
          |     |                          |     |Karnette, Klehs, Leno,    |
          |     |                          |     |Nation, Oropeza,          |
          |     |                          |     |Ridley-Thomas, Saldana,   |
          |     |                          |     |Yee                       |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |Nays:|Tran, Strickland          |Nays:|Sharon Runner, Emmerson,  |
          |     |                          |     |Haynes, Nakanishi,        |
          |     |                          |     |Walters                   |

           SUMMARY  :  Sets a lead content standard for jewelry imported  
          into, sold, or distributed in California.  Specifically,  this  
          bill  :  

          Prohibits the advertising, sale, import, or distribution of  
          jewelry containing more than 200 parts per million (ppm) total  
          lead.  The reduction in lead content is to be phased in over  
          four years.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Establishes the "Universal Waste Rule" for the handling,  
            recycling and disposal of high volume, relatively low-risk  
            hazardous waste, such as lead containing consumer goods.

          2)Lists lead as one of the toxins known to cause reproductive  
            harm pursuant to Proposition 65.

          3)Prohibits the sale or use of various products containing lead  
            above specified levels such as food adulterated with lead  
            (Federal Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law); leaded pipes,  
            toys containing lead paint, tableware containing lead above  


                                                                  AB 1681
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            certain levels.

          4)Requires the Department of Health Services (DHS) to establish  
            a childhood lead poisoning prevention program and to assess a  
            fee against contributors to lead contamination to fund the  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Committee on  
          Appropriations analysis:

          1)Minor potential penalty revenue, likely less than $100,000  
            annually starting in fiscal year (FY) 2007-08, to the  
            Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

          2)Cost pressures, about $300,000 in FY 2007-08 and FY 2008-09  
            and slightly lower costs annually thereafter, to DTSC to  
            sample and identify products and manufacturers that violate  
            the lead content standards.  (HWCA.) 
           COMMENTS  :   

          The Song Remains the Same: The dangers of lead are well  
          documented.  As early as 1892 lead poisoning in children was  
          first described as distinct entity in Queensland, Australia.   
          Although the incidence of lead poisoning in children has been  
          greatly reduced from the early 1980's, when the Center for  
          Disease Control found that as many as 82% of America's children  
          were suffering to some degree from lead poisoning, today's level  
          of slightly under 10% is still too high.

          According to the author, lead is a neurotoxin that is  
          particularly hazardous to children.  Even very low levels in  
          young children can result in reduced intelligence, learning  
          disabilities, attention deficit disorder, behavioral problems,  
          stunted growth, impaired hearing and kidney damage.  In adults  
          lead causes high blood pressure, fertility problems, nerve  
          disorders, muscle and joint pain, irritability, memory and  
          concentration problems.  Pregnant women pass on lead contained  
          in their bodies to their fetus.

          Lead enters the body through the inhalation of lead containing  
          dust, fumes or mist or through ingestion, such as chewing on a  
          toy painted with lead based paint or drinking out of a glass  
          that contains lead.  Lead is then absorbed into the bloodstream  


                                                                  AB 1681
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          and distributed throughout the body where it is stored in soft  
          tissue and bone.  Most lead is accumulated in the bones and  
          remains there for years.  According to the author, studies have  
          demonstrated that children's bodies absorb as much as 50% of the  
          lead they ingest.

          The author contends that some of this jewelry contains as much  
          as 100% lead.  A recent University of North Carolina Study  
          examined 311 jewelry items purchased from California retailers  
          and found that 123 of them contained more than 50% lead.  The  
          current lead standards in state and federal law are exposure  
          rather than content based.  This means that jewelry manufactures  
          can make jewelry out of lead and then coat it in order to comply  
          with the standard.  The problem with this "risk management" for  
          jewelry is that people, particularly children, place jewelry in  
          their mouths and the high acid content of saliva can remove the  
          coating.  Also, there have been instances of children swallowing  
          lead jewelry and suffering severe lead poisoning as a result of  
          their stomachs dissolving the coating.

          According to the author, without the enactment of a strict  
          lead-content standard, children will continue to ingest lead and  
          will suffer damage to their brains, hearing and kidneys.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Heather A. Halsey / E.S. & T.M. / (916)  

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