BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 1313
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          Date of Hearing:   June 10, 2008

                                Jared Huffman, Chair
                   SB 1313 (Corbett) - As Amended:  April 29, 2008

           SENATE VOTE  :   22-15
          SUBJECT  :   Product safety: perfluorinated compounds.

           SUMMARY  :   Prohibits the manufacture, sale or distribution in  
          commerce of any food contact substance that contains  
          perfluorinated compounds in a concentration exceeding 10 parts  
          per billion (ppb).  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Defines "food contact substance" as a substance that directly  
            contacts food and is intended for use as a component of  
            materials used in manufacturing, packaging, transporting or  
            holding food.

          2)Defines "perfluorinated compounds" as perfluorooctanoic acid  
            (PFOA) or perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), or PFOA- and  
            PFOS-homologues that differ only in the length of the  
            fluorinated carbons and contain more than five fluorinated  
            carbon atoms, or chemicals that may degrade in the environment  
            to PFOA or PFOS, or PFOA- and PFOS-homologues containing more  
            than five carbon fluorinated atoms. 

          3)Prohibits, on or after January 1, 2010, the manufacture, sale  
            or distribution in commerce of any substance intended to  
            contact food, as defined, that contains perfluorinated  
            compounds in a concentration exceeding 10 ppb.

          4)Requires manufacturers to use a nontoxic alternative when  
            replacing perfluorochemicals or their precursors.  Requires  
            that the alternative is not a carcinogen or a reproductive  
            toxicant, as defined.

          5)Makes legislative findings and declarations.

           EXISTING LAW  

          1)Requires, under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement  
            Act of 1986 (Proposition 65), the Governor to publish a list  
            of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity  


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            and to annually revise the list.  

          2)Prohibits the discharge or release of a chemical known to the  
            state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity into water, or  
            onto or into land, from which the chemical may pass into  
            drinking water.

          3)Prohibits the knowing and intentional exposure of people to a  
            chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive  
            toxicity without first giving clear and reasonable warning.

          4)Under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA),  
            authorizes US EPA to track industrial chemicals produced or  
            imported into the United States.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   This bill is keyed non-fiscal.

           COMMENTS  :

           Purpose of the bill  :  According to the author's office, "Every  
          consumer expects food packaging to be safe.  But packaging with  
          certain grease-proof coatings can contain perfluorinated  
          chemicals (PFCs) that are not safe.  Studies show these  
          chemicals can migrate into food directly from the packaging,  
          especially when heated.  The two PFCs of most concern, PFOA and  
          PFOS, never break down, persisting in the environment  
          indefinitely.  Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of  
          PFOA and PFOS in more than 98 percent of Americans' blood, and  
          100 percent of 293 newborns surveyed.  PFOA is considered by the  
          Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board a  
          likely carcinogen and is considered a chemical that induces  
          breast tumors in animals.  In addition, PFOA and PFOS have been  
          linked to pregnancy problems that can include developmental  
          complications. Animal studies also indicate that perfluorinated  
          chemicals affect the liver, immune system, and hormone levels."

           What are perfluorinated compounds  ?  Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)  
          are a broad class of manufactured chemicals that have been  
          produced since the 1950s and are used to make products that  
          resist oil, stains, heat, water, and grease.  These products  
          include nonstick cookware, oil- and moisture-resistant paper  
          coatings, stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, nail polishes,  
          and fire-fighting foam.  In addition to many consumer-product  
          uses, the aerospace, automotive, construction,  
          chemical-processing, electrical and electronics, semiconductor,  


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          and textile industries use these chemicals.

          Two chemicals in this class, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)  
          and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA or C8), have raised particular  
          concern and are byproducts of the manufacturing process.  The  
          chemical process that results in the formation of PFOS and  
          several other PFCs was discontinued by 2002 in the United  
          States; however, it remains unregulated.  PFOA is currently used  
          as a processing aid when making fluoropolymers, which impart  
          marketable properties such as fire resistance and oil, stain,  
          grease, and water repellency.  Fluoropolymers are also used to  
          provide non-stick surfaces on cookware and waterproof,  
          breathable membranes for clothing.  PFOA may additioanally be  
          generated by the breakdown of telomers used to impart soil,  
          stain and grease repellency in carpets, textiles and paper. 

           Concerns related to PFCs  :  According to US EPA, the agency began  
          investigating PFOA because of its environmental persistence, its  
          presence at low levels both in the environment and in the blood  
          of the general U.S. population, and because PFOA caused  
          developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals.   
          Dozens of studies, mostly on laboratory animals, have linked  
          exposure to PFCs to higher rates of prostate cancer, heart  
          disease, stroke, diabetes, impaired fetal development, altered  
          male reproductive hormones, and effects on the liver, thyroid  
          gland, and immune system.  In 2005, the US EPA's Office of  
          Pollution Prevention and Toxics Science Advisory Board labeled  
          PFOA a 'likely' carcinogen in humans.

          In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  
          published the results of two studies of human exposure to 11  
          PFCs.  In both studies, PFOS and PFOA, as well as another PFC,  
          perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), were detected in  
          approximately 98% of the population.  The CDC concludes that  
          these findings confirm widespread PFC exposure in the U.S.  
          population.  The CDC also reports that both PFOS and PFOA  
          accumulate in wildlife such as bald eagles, mink, bears, sea  
          mammals, and fish.  

           Federal action on PFOA  :  In 2004, the US EPA took administrative  
          action against DuPont for violations consisting of multiple  
          failures to report information to US EPA about substantial risk  
          of injury to human health or the environment from a chemical  
          during a period beginning in June of 1981 through March of 2001.  
           Companies are required by TSCA to report such information  


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          In 1981, the company observed PFOA in blood samples taken from  
          pregnant workers at its Washington Works facility in West  
          Virginia and at least one woman had transferred the chemical to  
          her fetus.  DuPont detected the chemical in public water  
          supplies near the facility as early as the mid-1980s.  By 1991,  
          DuPont had information that the chemical was in water supplies  
          at a greater level than the company's exposure guidelines  
          indicated would be without any effect to members of the  
          community.  In 1997, DuPont failed to provide US EPA with all  
          toxicological information the company had regarding PFOA,  
          despite a US EPA request for such information.  An attorney  
          working on a class action suit on behalf of citizens in Ohio and  
          West Virginia brought this information to the US EPA in 2001.

          In 2005, US EPA settled with DuPont for the largest civil  
          administrative penalty US EPA has ever obtained under any  
          federal environmental statute.  The settlement involves DuPont's  
          violations related to PFOA and requires DuPont to pay $10.25  
          million in civil penalties and perform Supplemental  
          Environmental Projects worth $6.25 million.
          US EPA PFOA Stewardship Program  :  Beginning in 2003, the US EPA  
          negotiated with multiple parties to produce missing information  
          on PFOA through enforceable consent agreements, memoranda of  
          understanding and voluntary commitments.  According to the  
          agency's website, it is still gathering and analyzing this data.

          In January 2006, the US EPA and eight prominent companies in the  
          industry created the 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Program.  Under  
          the program, the companies (3M/Dyneon, Arkema, Inc., AGC  
          Chemicals/Asahi Glass, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Clariant  
          Corporation, Daikin, E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company, and  
          Solvay Solexis) committed voluntarily to reduce emissions and  
          product content of PFOA and related chemicals on a global basis  
          by 95 percent by 2010, and to work toward eliminating emissions  
          and product content of these chemicals by 2015.  

          In October 2007, thyree companies reported they had already  
          achieved greater that 98 percent reductions in emissions of PFOA  
          in the United States and all participating companies reported  
          being on target to achieve the reduction goals of the program.   
          In 2007, DuPont announced its plans to eliminate their need to  


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          make, buy or use PFOA by 2015.

          The CDC reports that levels of PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS in people  
          seem to have decreased from 1999-2000 to 2003-2004 by about 25%,  
          but contends that it needs more data to characterize a possible  

           Is the PFOA Stewardship Program enough  ?  An investigation by the  
          Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds no evidence that the  
          replacement chemicals proposed by the participants in the  
          Stewardship Program are safer than PFOA and related chemicals.   
          According to the report, like PFOA, the new compounds are PFCs,  
          persist in the environment and cross the placenta to babies  
          before birth.  The report reveals that there are almost no data  
          publicly available on the health risks of the replacement  
          chemicals.  In fact, the report suggests that since January  
          2007, chemical manufacturers reported to the US EPA studies on  
          19 PFOA replacement chemicals that showed "substantial risk" to  
          human health or the environment.  However, under regulations  
          protecting "confidential business information," in most cases  
          neither the chemical nor the manufacturer were identified.

           PFOS no longer common in consumer products  :  Around 2000, the US  
          EPA's preliminary risk assessments on PFOS indicated potentially  
          unacceptable margins of exposure for the workers at 3M  
          Corporation, and possibly for the general population.  3M  
          manufactures Scotchguard and other industrial and consumer  
          products.  Following a series of discussions with US EPA, and  
          based on concerns about the widespread presence and longer-term  
          risks presented by PFOS, 3M decided to phase-out  
          perfluorooctanyl chemistry worldwide that year.  3M expressed  
          interest in collaborative efforts with US EPA as they develop  
          safer substitutes.  PFOS is thought to be phased-out in the  
          United States.

           Appropriate PFOA levels in food contact substances:  According  
          to the US EPA, the average background level of PFOA in  
          individuals residing in the United States is estimated to be  
          approximately 5 ppb, therefore the proponents of this bill  
          contend that a 10 ppb standard is a clearly detectable level  
          above the true environmental background.  They point to a study  
          published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in  
          2007 by the American Chemical Society that detects levels as low  
          as 0.5 to 6 ppb in food.  The proponents also point to the fact  


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          that C6 PFCs should be prohibited because C6 has already been  
          found in adult and cord blood, while C5 has not.

           Chemical specific vs. comprehensive chemical policy:   The  
          Legislature has considered legislation to establish protective  
          standards for specific toxics in specific products.  At the same  
          time, attempts at creating a more comprehensive chemical policy  
          program have failed passage in the Legislature.  Until the State  
          establishes effective, comprehensive chemical policy and  
          delegates clear regulatory and enforcement authority with  
          sufficient resources, chemical-specific bills will continue to  
          be a viable alternative.  


          The California Green Chemistry Initiative:   In 2007, DTSC  
          launched the California Green Chemistry Initiative, with goals  
          including developing a consistent means for evaluating risk,  
          reducing exposure, encouraging less-toxic industrial processes,  
          and identifying safer, non-chemical alternatives.  While the  
          initiative is showing promise in establishing a comprehensive  
          approach to chemical policy in California, current statute and  
          regulation does not address concerns related to PFCs.

           Support:   The United Steelworkers (USW) argue, "USW has tested  
          the blood of our DuPont [worker-] members and retirees in New  
          Jersey and discovered exposure levels hundreds of times higher  
          than the general public.  We've also tested public drinking  
          water as well as rivers, lakes and streams in New York, New  
          Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia near DuPont plants  
          and other manufacturing facilities that use these chemicals.   
          We've consistently detected the chemicals.  We believe that it  
          is our duty to protect the health and safety of the workers our  
          union represents.  But this issue goes far beyond just our  
          members.  We can't depend on the companies to regulate  
          themselves through voluntary stewardship programs.  SB1313 will  
          help drive home that important message of accountability to  
          corporate polluters and have a positive impact on the health of  
          California's citizens."

          The Environmental Working Group, sponsors of the bill, argues  


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          that, "Although the EPA is pushing for a voluntary phase-out of  
          some PFCs by 2015, this is inadequate. Californians have the  
          right to assume their food packaging is safe, and the fact that  
          some food companies have eliminated PFCs in packaging is proof  
          that it can be done now.  Further, while we commend the  
          Schwarzenegger Administration for looking to a holistic approach  
          to reforming state chemical policy, until that reform is in  
          place California must still protect its citizens from harmful  
          chemicals. SB 1313 also encourages chemical producers to come to  
          the table and work out a safe and coherent chemical policy for  

           Opposition:   DuPont argues, "SB 1313 interferes with and  
          undermines work already being accomplished to secure more  
          sustainable alternatives.  Those alternatives are the product of  
          precisely the kind of forward-thinking industry initiative that  
          California is seeking to stimulate through both legislation and  
          the Green Chemistry Initiative.  SB 1313 is arbitrary and raises  
          more questions than it answers."  

          The Telomer Research Program argues that, "SB 1313 discourages  
          the use of effective alternative products that have demonstrated  
          a more favorable environmental profile than PFOA.  Regulatory  
          agencies have focused their concern on certain fluorochemicals  
          that persist in human blood, including the "C8" chemicals (PFOA  
          and PFOS) and certain "C6" chemicals ("C6 sulfonates").  In  
          support of the Stewardship goals, the industry has developed a  
          new generation of effective non-sulfonated C6 products ("C6  
          telomers") that do not have the properties associated with these  
          chemicals.  Both EPA and FDA have approved products utilizing C6  
          telomers, determining that the primary chemical likely to result  
          in the environment from degradation of C6 telomers has a much  
          lower bio-persistence and toxicity profile than PFOA and related  
          higher homologues.  SB 1313 restricts C-6 telomers, treating  
          these chemicals as equivalent to PFOA, PFOS and the C6  
          sulfonates.  The net effect of SB 1313 is to stifle current  
          efforts by the fluorochemical industry and its customers to move  
          away from the potential sources of PFOA to products that work  
          effectively and provide a more favorable environmental profile."

           Double referred  :  This bill has been double-referred to the  
          Assembly Committee on Health.  

          Amendments to be taken in the Assembly Health Committee:


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           1)  Technical amendment: Appropriately reference the "Safe  
          Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act."
          2) The author has indicated that she is will continue to work on  
          lanague relating to "non-toxic alternative" in the Assembly  
          Health Committee.


          Environmental Working Group (Sponsor)
          Breast Cancer Action
          Breast Cancer Fund
          California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
          California League of Conservation Voters
          California Nurses Association
          Californians Against Waste
          Cereplast, Inc.
          Children's Advocacy Institute
          Clean Water Action
          Coalition for Clean Air
          Environment California
          Healthy Children Organizing Project
          MOMS (Making Our Milk Safe)
          Natural Products Association West 
          Natural Resources Defense Council
          Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California 
          Planned Parenthood Fresno
          Planned Parenthood Golden Gate
          Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
          Planned Parenthood San Jose
          Planning and Conservation League
          Sierra Club California
          Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
          United Steelworkers
          Woman's Foundation of California
          Zero Breast Cancer 

          American Chemistry Council
          American Forest & Paper Association
          California Chamber of Commerce
          California Manufactures & Technology Association
          California Retailers Association


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          Chemical Industry Council of California
          Ciba Corporation
          Consumer Specialty Association
          Grocery Manufactures Association
          Hercules, Inc.
          Industrial Environmental Association
          Paper Shipping Sack Manufacturers Association
          Pet Food Institute
          Recycled Paperboard Technical Association
          Society of the Plastics Industry
          Telomer Research Program

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Shannon McKinney / E.S. & T.M. / (916)