BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1681
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          AB 1681 (Pavley) 
          As Amended June 1, 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  :  

          1)Sets limits on lead that may be contained in jewelry that is  
            worn on the body or attached to clothing:  Those limits are  
            set for three classes of jewelry or jewelry components: a)  
            metal jewelry or metal components of jewelry; b) nonmetal  
            jewelry or nonmetal components of jewelry; and, c) leaded  
            crystal jewelry or leaded components of jewelry.

          2)Prohibits the sale, distribution or importation into this  
            state of metal jewelry or metal components of jewelry, after  
            July 1, 2007, if it contains more than 600 parts per million  
            (ppm) in total lead as determined by a screening test for  
            total lead analysis in a specific Consumer Product Safety  
            Commission (CPSC) policy.

          3)Prohibits the sale, distribution or importation into this  
            state of nonmetal jewelry or nonmetal components of jewelry  
            (except leaded crystal jewelry or any leaded crystal component  
            of jewelry), after January 1, 2007, if it contains more than  
            200 ppm in total lead as determined by a screening test for  


                                                                  AB 1681
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            total lead analysis in a specific CPSC policy.

          4)Prohibits the sale, distribution or importation into this  
            state of any leaded crystal jewelry or any leaded crystal  
            component of jewelry, after January 1, 2007, if it yields more  
            than 90 micrograms of accessible lead when subjected to the  
            acid extraction test contained in a specific CPSC policy.

          5)Identifies the tests as those test contained in the CPSC  
            policy known as, "Interim Enforcement Policy for Children's  
            Metal Jewelry Containing Lead," that became effective on  
            February 3, 2005. 

           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  
            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.) 


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           COMMENTS  :   

          1)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.

          2)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.

          3)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 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.

          4)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.


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          5)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.

          6)According to the author, the most recent amendments:

             a)   Establish a 600 ppm lead content standard for all metal  
               jewelry and metal jewelry components.  Canada and the CPSC  
               have both set 600 ppm lead content standards for metal  

             b)   Set a 200 ppm lead content standard for all non-metal  
               jewelry with the exception of leaded crystal.  This  
               standard is based on 200 ppm lead content standards  
               established in court-ordered settlement agreements for  
               mini-blinds and power cords. 

             c)   Subject leaded crystal jewelry or such jewelry  
               components to a lead-exposure standard of no more than 90  
               micrograms of lead.  This is a standard that is used by  
               Canada for regulation of jewelry lead exposure levels. 

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Michael Endicott / E.S. & T.M. / (916)  

                                                                FN: 0011059