BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                               AB 1930

                        Senator S. Joseph Simitian, Chairman
                              2009-2010 Regular Session
           BILL NO:    AB 1930
           AUTHOR:     De La Torre
           AMENDED:    April 29, 2010
           FISCAL:     Yes               HEARING DATE:     June 28, 2010
           URGENCY:    No                CONSULTANT:       Amber Hartman

            SUMMARY :    
            Existing law  :

           1) Pursuant to several Health and Safety Code statutes, bans  
              or regulates lead content in a variety of consumer  
              products, such as candy, toys, tableware, packaging,  
              children's jewelry, plumbing, and glass beverage bottles.

           2) Pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement  
              Act of 1986, commonly referred to as Proposition 65,  
              prohibits a person, in the course of doing business, from  
              knowingly and intentionally exposing people to a chemical  
              known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity  
              without first giving clear and reasonable warning.  The  
              governor must publish a list of chemicals "known to the  
              State of California" to cause cancer, birth defects or  
              other reproductive harm.  Both lead and arsenic are  
              included on this list.  No person can knowingly discharge  
              or release those same chemicals into any source of drinking  
              water.  Specified exemptions are allowed, such as when the  
              exposure or discharge would not pose a significant risk of  
              cancer, or, for chemicals that cause reproductive toxicity,  
              would not have observable effect at 1,000 times the level  
              in question.

           3) Requires the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC),  
              by January 1, 2011, to adopt regulations to establish a  
              process to identify and prioritize chemicals or chemical  
              ingredients in consumer products that may be considered a  
              "chemical of concern," in accordance with a review process,  


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              as specified.  (25251 et seq.).

           4) Requires DTSC, on or before January 1, 2011, to adopt  
              regulations to establish a process to evaluate chemicals of  
              concern, and their potential alternatives, in consumer  
              products in order to determine how best to limit exposure  
              or to reduce the level of  hazard posed by a chemical of  
              concern, as specified.

            This bill  : 

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

           2) Defines the method by which lead and arsenic should be  
              measured as EPA Method 3052 modified and EPA Method 6010C  
              or a generally accepted instrumental method with traceable  
              standards, including X-ray fluorescence.

           3) Requires glass beads sold in California that will be used  
              for surface preparation and with blasting equipment to be  
              labeled with the following statement: "Glass bead contents  
              contain less than 75 ppm arsenic and less than 100 ppm  
              lead, as determined by EPA method 3052 and EPA method 6010c  
              or a generally accepted instrumental method with traceable  

           4) Establishes that the bill does not limit, supersede,  
              duplicate, or conflict with the authority of DTSC to fully  
              implement authority under chemicals of concern including  
              testing and labeling, and also declares that glass beads  
              will not be considered as a product category already  
              regulated under current law.

            COMMENTS  :

            1) Purpose of Bill  .  According to the author, "Some countries,  
              including China, produce glass sphere with high levels of  
              arsenic and lead.  While it is illegal to use these toxic  
              spheres in China, they are imported for use in California  


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              and other states.  Without a standard, these foreign  
              spheres can continue to be sold in California to businesses  
              that are completely unaware of the danger."  The author  
              continues, "In order to protect individuals and the  
              environment, AB 1930 will conform California to the U.S.  
              military standard, preventing the manufacture and sale of  
              glass beads containing an excess of 75 ppm arsenic and 100  
              ppm lead, by weight."

            2) Lead & Arsenic Dangers  .  Exposure to even very small  
              amounts of lead can be harmful, especially to infants,  
              young children, and pregnant women.    Lead poisoning  
              permanently damages the brain and nervous system while  
              causing anemia, kidney damage, and other symptoms.  Lead  
              exposure is most serious for young children because their  
              growing bodies absorb lead more easily than adults and they  
              are more susceptible to its effects.  Even low level lead  
              exposure may harm the intellectual development, behavior,  
              size and hearing of infants.  Female workers exposed to  
              high levels of lead have more miscarriages and stillbirths.

              Inorganic arsenic is a known carcinogen and reproductive  
              toxin.  Arsenic binds to DNA and disrupts normal cell  
              growth.  There is some evidence that long-term exposure to  
              arsenic in children may result in lower IQ scores.  There  
              is also some evidence that exposure to arsenic in the womb  
              and early childhood may increase mortality in young adults.

              Both arsenic and lead also can cause skin and tissue  
              contact irritation, and are inhalation and ingestion risks.  
               Both elements, at high exposure levels, can kill humans.

              Arsenic and lead released from human activities can also  
              contaminate and pollute the surrounding environment and,  
              ultimately, drinking water.
           3) Glass-making in the U.S.   The origin of the issue of metals  
              in glass beads stems from how glass is now made in the  
              United States compared to how it used to be made.   
              Occupational safety and permissible exposure limits written  
              during the 1970's and 1980's have altogether eliminated the  
              use of lead and arsenic in American glass making, which  
              were used to clarify and remove bubbles from glass.  A  


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              technological alternative replaced the use of heavy metals,  
              although that technological replacement was not adopted  
              universally in the developing world.

              Therefore, the two major American manufacturers of glass  
              beads, Potter Industries Inc. (the bill's sponsor) and  
              Swarco Industries Inc., historically do not produce beads  
              containing detectable levels of heavy metals because they  
              buy recycled glass within the United States, which no  
              longer contains heavy metals.  AB 1930 would impact the  
              glass bead market by requiring domestic importers of glass  
              beads to make sure that imported beads comply with heavy  
              metal limits, or simply lose market share in states that  
              have heavy metal glass bead limits.

            4) Chinese irony  .  A key policy observation is that, although  
              Chinese law does not allow the production or use of glass  
              beads containing heavy metals in China, it does allow the  
              export of these beads to foreign countries.  For observers,  
              this creates an odd juxtaposition wherein the Chinese  
              government implicitly says glass beads are not safe enough  
              for use within their own borders, but they are okay for  
              others.  If the policy question simply revolved around  
              whether or not the beads were safe, then it would be  
              reasonable to assume that a country which produced heavy  
              metal-laced glass beads would not regulate metal levels in  
              the beads because they believed they were safe for their  
              own citizens.  In fact, this is not the case, which  
              suggests that countries and states without metal  
              restrictions are dumping grounds for products that are  
              potentially unsafe.

            5) A variety of standards  .  The standards proposed in AB 1930  
              are presently used by the Department of Defense for the  
              U.S. military.  However, both nationally and  
              internationally, there is a range of limits placed on lead  
              and arsenic in glass beads and a variety of additional  
              heavy metals that are regulated.  In 12 states, their  
              Departments of Transportation have set regulatory limits on  
              glass beads used for highway painting, which this bill does  
              not specifically address.


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           |Country/state|Lead      |Arsenic     |Other metals |Mechanism  |
           |             |limit     |limit       |             |           |
           |E.U.         |200       |200         |200 Sb       |Regulatory |
           |China        |Do not    |Do not use  |Do not use   |Regulatory |
           |             |use       |            |             |           |
           |Washington   |50        |20          |0 Sb, 100    |Regulatory |
           |             |          |            |Ba, 1 Cd, 5  |           |
           |             |          |            |Cr, 1 Se, 5  |           |
           |             |          |            |Ag, 0.2 Hg   |           |
           |US Congress  |N/A       |200         |N/A          |Statutory  |
           |HR 5425      |          |            |             |(pending)  |
           |Louisiana    |N/A       |75          |N/A          |Statutory  |
           |New Jersey   |N/A       |75          |N/A          |Statutory  |
           |AB 1448      |          |            |             |(pending)  |
           |DOTs in CA   |200       |200         |200 Sb       |Regulatory |
           |DOTs  ME,    |100       |75          |unknown      |Regulatory |
           |VT, NY, RI   |          |            |             |           |
           |New Zealand  |140       |55          |50 Sb, 10    |Regulatory |
           |             |          |            |Hg, 12 Cd,   |           |
           |             |          |            |10 Cr        |           |
           |Australia    |50        |50          |50 Sb        |Regulatory |

            6) Legislate or regulate  ?  The variety of limits and types of  
              metals that have been regulated so far (see table) leads to  
              the question of whether or not the legislature should set  
              these limits.  The sponsor of the bill, Potter Industries,  
              has been largely responsible for driving the issue forward  
              throughout the country and abroad, which has resulted in  
              many of the limits placed in regulation and the recent  
              legislation signed into law in Lousiana. Interestingly, the  
              limits they have lobbied for on heavy metals are variable,  


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              sometimes excluding lead, sometimes including antimony  
              (Sb), mercury (Hg), and other metals.  This variability  
              raises the questions:  a) Why exactly are these limits  
              being chosen for these metals?; and b) What evidence is  
              this decision based upon?
               The sponsor has suggested that the reason lead and arsenic  
              were chosen is because other heavy metals are never  
              detected when these two metals are limited, i.e., if lead  
              and arsenic are limited, then any other heavy metals are  
              also inherently limited.  However, in background material  
              provided by the sponsor, a study by Potter Industries in  
              Sweden of highway surface glass beads showed that in six  
              samples either antimony (Sb), chromium  (Cr), or cadmium  
              (Cd) (or both antimony and cadmium) were detected in glass  
              beads, but lead and arsenic were not detected.  While a  
              small study of glass beads used on highways, it suggests  
              that it is possible for other dangerous heavy metals to be  
              detected in the absence of lead and arsenic.

              Should a new, different standard specific to only a small  
              part of the glass bead industry, namely blasting equipment,  
              be set?  Should it only include lead and arsenic?  For  
              glass beads used for highway painting, Caltrans has already  
              set a regulatory limit of 200 ppm for three heavy metals:   
              lead, arsenic and antimony.  What impact on the blasting  
              glass bead market would this intra-state difference in  
              heavy metal limits create? 

              This question of varied limits in different markets should  
              be considered in the context of overwhelming scientific  
              knowledge about the severe impact of even small amounts of  
              arsenic and lead on human health and the environment.  It  
              is difficult to imagine a negative environmental or health  
              impact of setting tighter standards.  However, there could  
              be a significant impact on the existing glass bead market  
              share if these new limits are put in place for a subset of  
              the glass bead industry.

              It may be appropriate to put in place a temporary limit,  
              perhaps via a two- year sunset, on heavy metals in  
              blasting-type glass beads.  This would provide a temporary,  
              but environmentally protective limit.  There is a pending,  


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              independent scientific study in New Jersey funded by the  
              New Jersey Department of Transportation that is expected to  
              produce a final, public report by December 2010.  The study  
              is expected to indicate, at least for glass beads used on  
              roads (although not specifically for blasting glass beads),  
              how much heavy metals are leached from glass beads, which  
              will potentially suggest what levels should be considered  
              safe and protective to the environment and human health.   
              AB 1930 could, additionally, authorize DTSC to adopt glass  
              bead heavy metal levels in regulation based on new  
              scientific data.

            7) The context of blasting glass beads  . When glass beads are  
              employed for blasting purposes they are often used in  
              conjunction with containment booths or cabinets that  
              protect workers and the environment from particulate dust.   
              This is the case, for example, in preparation of metal  
              prosthetic devices and airplane part stress removal.  This  
              is not always the case in automotive or pool cleaning  

              Furthermore, in some cases, glass beads are used to blast  
              away old lead paint or other toxic materials from buildings  
              or cars.  The resulting debris from the glass beads and the  
              lead paint is already considered hazardous material, and,  
              it would seem that heavy metal limits on glass beads in  
              these situations would be somewhat unnecessary since the  
              waste is already treated as hazardous.

              Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Hazard Authority  
              (OSHA) and other federal agencies have jurisdiction and  
              already has set permissible exposure limits (PEL) for the  
              amount of lead and arsenic that workers can be exposed to.   
              An additional regulatory tool is to make sure that OSHA and  
              other agencies monitor glass bead usage so that heavy  
              metals in glass beads fall within already set PELs. 

            8) Arguments in Support  .  According to the sponsor, "Assembly  
              Bill 1930 sets a standard for the manufacturing and sale of  
              glass spheres containing high levels of arsenic and lead  
              based on the standard used by the U.S. military. 
              Glass beads are pulverized when they are blown out of an  
              air compressor to treat surfaces or for other industrial  


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              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."

              The sponsor refers to a briefing written by an internal  
              scientist, Dr. Ufuk Senturk, who writes, "Despite the  
              common public perception that glasses are inert, as  
              typically referenced for their use as toxic waste  
              containment, scientific literature, as explained above,  
              shows that glasses do leach and release toxic ingredients,  
              such as arsenic and lead.  This is evidenced for commercial  
              grade soda-lime-silicate glasses2, where arsenic is shown  
              to leach up to 75% of its initial content when exposed to  
              basic pH conditions. Enhanced leaching under acidic  
              conditions is also known for soda-lime-silicate glasses (as  
              reported by Clark et al.1)."

            9) Arguments in Opposition  .  The opposition, Fair Glass Bead  
              Market Access Coalition (FGBMAC) writes, "The American  
              Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials  
              (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Materials first examined this  
              issue in 2006.  The corporate sponsor of A.B. 1930 asked  
              the subcommittee to enact regulations restricting the  
              source of recycled glass cullet for bead manufacturing to  
              North American sources.  That effort was opposed by the  
              Subcommittee and other domestic providers/customers of  
              glass beads.  This same manufacturer subsequently changed  
              tactics away from attempting to limit the source of glass  
              cullet and instead began proposing to limit the heavy metal  
              content of glass beads to 200 ppm arsenic, 200 ppm antimony  
              and 200 ppm lead.  In 2007, the Subcommittee decided to  
              empanel a task force led by Eileen Sheehy of the New Jersey  
              Department of Transportation to further review the issue.   
              That research, referenced earlier, is poised to be released  
              in a presentation to the subcommittee at their annual  
              meeting in August, 2010.
               Members of the FGBMAC have worked with the New Jersey  
              researchers to provide them with glass bead samples to  


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              assist in their work.  We are willing to support and see  
              enacted the heavy metal content levels that would be  
              proposed as a result of this peer-reviewed research.  It is  
              our expectation that these limits will not be confined to  
              lead, but may include a number of heavy metals including  
              arsenic, barium and antimony."

            10)Related Legislation  .  AB 2251 (Cook) of 2008 prohibited the  
              manufacture, sale and use of reflective glass beads used  
              for roadway markings, if these beads contain inorganic  
              arsenic in a concentration greater than 75 parts per  
              million (ppm).  (Died in Assembly Appropriations  

           11)Clarification needed  .  If the committee believes AB 1930  
              should be approved, the following need clarification:

                        On page 2, delete lines 11 to 12 and 20 to 21  
                   and replace with "pressure, suction, wet-or-dry-type  
                   blasting equipment."
                        On page 2, line 14, define the word "modified"  
                   and on line 15 after "6010C" include the words "as of  
                   January 1, 2010".
                        On page 3, lines 2-5, the labeling statement is  
                   perhaps too technical and not educational for the  
                   consumer.  It also might unintentionally imply the  
                   label meets a federal standard by referring to a  
                   federal government agency's (EPA) method.  It should  
                   therefore be stricken and replaced with: "Glass bead  
                   contents contain less than 75 ppm arsenic and less  
                   than 100 ppm lead pursuant to the California Health  
                   and Safety Code Section 25258."

                Also, to evaluate the independent study funded by the New  
                Jersey Department of Transportation, add a two-year  
                sunset.  (See Comment 6).

            SOURCE  :        Potter Industries Inc.  

           SUPPORT  :       American Glass Bead Manufacturers' Association,  
                          Chemical Industry Council of California, Swarco  
                          Industries Inc.  


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           OPPOSITION  :    Fair Glass Bead Market Access Coalition