BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1930
                                                                  Page 1

          Date of Hearing:   April 27, 2010

           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY AND TOXIC MATERIALS
                                  Pedro Nava, Chair
              AB 1930 (De La Torre) - As Introduced:  February 17, 2010
           
          SUBJECT  :   Consumer safety: glass beads.

           SUMMARY  :   Prohibits the manufacture, sale, offering for sale or  
          offering for promotional purposes of glass beads containing  
          arsenic and lead above a specified amount if those beads will be  
          used with blasting equipment.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Prohibits a person from manufacturing, selling, offering for  
            sale, or offering for promotional purposes glass beads that  
            contain more than 75 part per million (ppm) arsenic and 100  
            ppm lead by weight, if those glass beads will be used with  
            pressure or suction blasting equipment or wet-type or dry-type  
            blasting equipment.

          2)Requires that in order to comply with the requirements of this  
            bill, the weight percentage of arsenic and lead must be  
            determined in accordance with EPA 3052 modified and EPA 6010C  
            or a generally accepted instrumental method with traceable  
            standards, including X-ray fluorescence.

          3)Requires each container or bag of glass beads sold in this  
            state for surface preparation, including for cleaning,  
            peening, finishing, and deburring of aluminum and stainless  
            steel products, and that will be used with pressure or suction  
            blasting equipment or wet-type or dry-type blasting equipment,  
            to be labeled with the following:  "Glass bead contents  
            contain less than 75 ppm arsenic and 100 ppm lead, as  
            determined by EPA 3052 and EPA 6010C or a generally accepted  
            instrumental method with traceable standards."

           EXISTING LAW  :

          Under Green Chemistry statutes (Health and Safety Code (HSC)  
          25251 et. seq.):  

          1)Requires the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to  
            identify and prioritize chemicals of concerns and to adopt  
            regulations to evaluate chemicals of concern in consumer  
            products, and their potential alternatives, to determine how  








                                                                  AB 1930
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            best to limit exposure or to reduce the level of hazard posed  
            by a chemical of concern.

          2)Authorizes DTSC to take the following regulatory actions,  
            among others, to limit exposure or to reduce the level of  
            hazard posed by a chemical of concern:

             a)   Impose requirements on the labeling or other type of  
               consumer product information; 
             b)   Impose a restriction on the use of the chemical of  
               concern in the consumer product; and,
             c)   Prohibit the use of the chemical of concern in the  
               consumer product.

          3)Defines a "consumer product" as a product or part of the  
            product that is used, bought, or leased for use by a person  
            for any purpose. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown.

           COMMENTS  :   

           Purpose of the bill  :  According to the author's office, "Glass  
          beads are pulverized when they are blown out of an air  
          compressor to treat surfaces or for other industrial purposes.   
          The resulting dust, containing excessive levels of heavy metals,  
          is inhaled by employees or blown into the air potentially  
          contaminating soil and/or water.  The U.S. military recognized  
          the danger of glass beads containing toxic levels of arsenic and  
          lead and established a standard to ensure that soldiers,  
          civilians, and the environment were safe from contamination.  In  
          order to protect individuals and the environment, AB 1930 will  
          conform California with the U.S. military standard, preventing  
          the manufacture and sale of glass beads containing an excess of  
          75 parts per million (ppm) arsenic and 100 ppm lead, by weight."

           Related uses of glass beads:   Glass beads are used for a variety  
          of purposes, including as a reflective material for street  
          striping.  However, this bill sets standards only for beads that  
          will be used with pressure or suction blasting equipment or  
          wet-type or dry-type blasting equipment.  According to the  
          sponsor, these types of applications include surface preparation  
          for cleaning, peening, finishing and deburring of aluminum and  
          stainless steel products.  Glass beads are also used to finish  
          eye glass frames and for deburring and preparing the surfaces of  








                                                                  AB 1930
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          medical instruments such as needles used on syringes.  Finally,  
          glass beads are used to remove residues on automotive parts and  
          to remove calcium buildup at the water line of swimming pools.  

          Lead and arsenic:  recognized hazards:   Lead is listed under  
          California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of  
          1986, commonly known as Proposition 65, as a substance that can  
          cause reproductive damage, birth defects and cancer.   
          Occupational overexposure to lead can cause subclinical and  
          clinical peripheral neuropathy [muscle weakness, pain, and  
          paralysis of extremities], disruption of hemesynthesis and  
          anemia, loss of kidney function, increased blood pressure,  
          nephropathy, reduced sperm count and male sterility, and  
          increase the risk of cancer.

          Arsenic is listed under Proposition 65 as a chemical known to  
          the state to cause cancer and to cause reproductive toxicity.   
          Non-cancer effects of arsenic exposure include thickening and  
          discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;  
          diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and  
          blindness.  Occupational overexposure to arsenic can increase  
          the risk of skin, lung and possibly lymphatic cancers and lead  
          to peripheral neuropathy and vascular disease [Reynaud's  
          phenomenon].

           Arsenic in glass beads:   According to a study conducted by the  
          sponsor of the bill, Potters Industries, Inc., arsenic  
          concentrations were measured in imported Chinese glass beads  
          ranging from less than 30 parts per million to almost 1,000  
          parts per million (ppm).  The elevated and variable arsenic  
          concentrations are believed to be attributable to the use of  
          arsenic in glass manufacturing processes in China, a practice  
          that was generally discontinued in the United States more than  
          20 years ago due to environmental and occupational health and  
          safety regulations.  The study concludes that because of market  
          conditions, it is likely that the import of Chinese manufactured  
          beads will continue and even expand in the near future,  
          resulting in greater dispersal of arsenic.  The sponsors contend  
          that the standard in the bill has already been met by the US, EU  
          and Canadian manufacturers of glass beads, as well as by many  
          Chinese manufacturers.

           California's Green Chemistry Initiative:   As part of the Green  
          Chemistry Initiative, the Governor signed AB 1879 (Feuer and  
          Huffman) Chapter 559, Statutes of 2008, into law in 2009.  AB  








                                                                  AB 1930
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          1879 requires DTSC to adopt regulations by January 1, 2011, to  
          identify and prioritize chemicals of concern, to evaluate  
          alternatives, and to specify regulatory responses where  
          chemicals of concern are found in consumer products.  "Consumer  
          product" is broadly defined as a product or part of the product  
          that is used, bought, or leased for use by a person for any  
          purpose.  The Green Chemistry program should yield a  
          comprehensive process to identify and regulate chemicals of  
          concern in products.

           Related bills  :
          AB 2251 (Cook, 2008)  Would have prohibited the manufacturing  
          and selling of reflective glass beads that are used to reflect  
          light as markings on roadways, if those glass beads contain  
          inorganic arsenic in more than 75 ppm or an amount adopted by  
          the Department of Transportation.  (Held in As the Assembly  
          Appropriations Committee).  

           Issues:

          Standards in the bill  :  This bill prohibits the manufacture,  
          sale, or promotion of glass beads that contain more than 75  
          parts per million (ppm) arsenic and 100 ppm lead by weight.  It  
          also requires that weight percentage of arsenic and lead must be  
          determined in accordance with EPA 3052 modified and EPA 6010C or  
          a generally accepted instrumental method with traceable  
          standards, including X-ray fluorescence.

          According to the sponsors, the standards set in this bill  
          correlate to those set by the US Air Force (MIL PRF 9954C) and  
          the Society of Aeronautic Engineers (AMS 2431/6C).  The sponsors  
          contend, "The arsenic and lead limits were chosen by the  
          military because they near the practical detection limit (PDL)  
          for the equipment used to analyze for them - in other words you  
          can be confident your value is accurate.  It is illogical to set  
          it lower than PDL because 30ppm may actually be 0 while 10ppm  
          might actually be 45ppm.  And we did not set it higher because  
          it is illogical to allow more arsenic and lead to be released.   
          In addition, if heavy metals are deliberately added to the glass  
          when it is manufactured, the heavy metals detected will be much  
          higher than the levels included in the bill."

          While it appears that branches of the United States' military  
          have set glass bead arsenic and lead standards equivalent to  
          those in this bill, it is unclear if the standards set in this  








                                                                  AB 1930
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          bill are sufficiently protective of worker and public health and  
          of the environment.  Is it appropriate to set standards in  
          statute, where they cannot be readily adjusted after  
          consideration of new scientific evidence or of advances in  
          technology, or is it more effective to set standards through the  
          existing regulatory process, which is more dynamic?

           State authority and enforcement:  Just like California's current  
          prohibition on the use of phthalates in children's products and  
          on specific flame retardant chemicals, this bill does not extend  
          express enforcement authority to any state agency.  Therefore,  
          likely the only enforcement of the provisions of this bill would  
          occur under Unfair Competition Law (Business and Professions  
          Code 17200 et. seq.).  Additionally, since HSC 25257.1 (c)  
          prohibits DTSC from duplicating or adopting conflicting  
          regulations for product categories already regulated or subject  
          to pending regulation, should this bill be signed into law as  
          currently drafted, DTSC likely would be prohibited from taking  
          any regulatory action on the products covered by this bill.   
          Should a state agency, such as DTSC, be expressly authorized to  
          enforce the provisions of this bill?

           Suggested amendments  :  The Committee may wish to consider the  
          following amendments to ensure that DTSC retains authority to  
          further regulate glass beads under existing Green Chemistry  
          statutes, has enforcement authority over the provisions of this  
          bill, and has the authority to adjust the standards and  
          methodology in the bill.

          1)Add the following language:  "This article does not limit,  
            supersede, duplicate, or otherwise conflict with the authority  
            of the department to fully implement Article 14 (commencing  
            with Section 25251), including the authority of the department  
            to include products in a product registry established pursuant  
            to the regulations adopted in accordance with that article.  
            Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 25257.1, glass  
            beads shall not be considered as a product category already  
            regulated or subject to pending regulation for purposes of  
            Article 14 (commencing with Section 25251)."

          2)Move the provisions of the bill to Chapter 6.5 of the Health  
            and Safety Code, which is the Chapter that relates to  
            hazardous waste and that gives DTSC explicit enforcement  
            authority over prohibited chemicals and products.









                                                                  AB 1930
                                                                  Page 6

          3)Amend the bill to provide DTSC with more flexibility in  
            enforcing the standard, especially as new testing technologies  
            emerge.

          4)Technical amendments:
             a)   Page 2, line 5, replace "part" with "parts."

             b)   Page 2, line 3, amend as follows:  108940. (a) A person  
               shall not manufacture, sell, offer for sale, or offer for  
               promotional purposes in this state glass beads that contain  
                more than  75 parts per million (ppm)  or more of  arsenic  and  
                 or  100 ppm  or more of  lead by weight, if those glass beads  
               will be used with pressure or suction blasting equipment or  
               wet-type or dry-type blasting equipment.

             c)   Page 2, line 21, amend as follows:  "Glass bead contents  
               contain less than 75 ppm arsenic and  less than  100 ppm  
               lead?"

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Potters Industries, Inc. (sponsor)
          American Glass Beads Manufacturers Association
          Chemical Industry Council of California
          Swarco America

           Opposition 
           
          None received.  
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Shannon McKinney / E.S. & T.M. / (916)  
          319-3965