BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                             SB 498

                            Senator Jerry Hill, Chair
                            2013-2014 Regular Session
        BILL NO:    SB 498
        AUTHOR:     Lara
        AMENDED:    April 2, 2013
        FISCAL:     Yes               HEARING DATE:     May 1, 2013
        URGENCY:    No                CONSULTANT:       Rachel Machi

         SUMMARY  :    
         Existing federal law, uunder the   Toxic Substances Control Act of  
        1976 (TSCA)  :

        1) Authorizes the United States Environmental Protection Agency  
           (US EPA) to require reporting, record-keeping and testing  
           requirements, and set restrictions relating to chemical  
           substances and/or mixtures.  

        2) Requires the submission of health and safety studies which are  
           known or available to those who manufacture, process, or  
           distribute in commerce specified chemicals; but does not  
           require testing.  

        3) Allows US EPA to gather information from manufacturers and  
           processors about production/import volumes, chemical uses and  
           methods of disposal, and the extent to which people and the  
           environment are exposed. 
        Existing California law  :

        1) Requires the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to  
           adopt regulations (the Safer Consumer Products regulations)  

           a)    Establish a process to identify and prioritize chemicals  
              or chemical ingredients in products that may be considered  
              a "chemical of concern."


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           b)    Establish a process for evaluating chemicals of concern  
              in products, and their potential alternatives in order to  
              determine how best to limit exposure or to reduce the level  
              of hazard posed by a chemical of concern, as specified. 

           c)    Establish a process that includes an evaluation of the  
              availability of potential alternatives and potential  
              hazards posed by alternatives, as well as an evaluation of  
              critical exposure pathways.  

           d)    Requires that the regulations include life cycle  
              assessment tools that take into consideration numerous  
              factors as specified.

           e)    Provides for the establishment of a Green Ribbon Science  
              Panel, with expertise that includes fifteen disciplines  
              (e.g. chemistry, environmental law, nanotechnology,  
              maternal and child health) to advise on the development and  
              implementation of the regulations and the Toxic Information  

        2) Requires DTSC to establish a Toxics Information Clearinghouse  
           for the collection, maintenance, and distribution of specific  
           chemical hazard traits and environmental and toxicological  
           end-point data. 

        3) Requires the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment  
           to evaluate and specify the hazard traits and environmental  
           and toxicological end-points and any other relevant data that  
           are to be included in the clearinghouse. 

        4) Defines "consumer product" to mean a product or part of the  
           product that is used, brought, or leased for use by a person  
           for any purposes. "Consumer product" does not include any of  
           the following:

           a)    A dangerous drug or dangerous device as defined in  
              Section 4022 of the Business of Professions Code.


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           b)    Dental restorative materials as defined in subdivision  
              (b) of Section 1648.20 of the Business and Professions  

           c)    A device as defined in Section 4023 of the Business of  
              Professions Code.

           d)    A food as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 109935.

           e)    The packaging associated with any of the items specified  
              in paragraph (a), (b), or (c).

           f)    A pesticide as defined in Section 12753 of the Food and  
              Agricultural Code or the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and  
              Rodenticide (7 United States Code Sections 136 and  

         This bill  :  Exempts motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight  
        rating of less than 14,000 pounds and their component or  
        replacement parts from the above regulation.

         COMMENTS  :

         1) Purpose of bill  .  According to the author Assembly Bill 1879  
           (Feuer) Chapter 559, Statutes of 2008 exempted four categories  
           of products under the premise that these products are already  
           heavily regulated by state and federal regulatory agencies:  
           food, pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices and pesticides.   
           According to the author, like products already exempted from  
           the law, automobiles and their component parts are heavily  
           regulated by a number of state and federal regulatory  


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           entities, including the National Highway and Traffic Safety  
           Administration, the federal EPA, the California Environmental  
           Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.  The  
           author asserts that discussions with DTSC over the years have  
           not given the auto industry certainty that it will be able to  
           design, develop, manufacture and assemble parts within the  
           time constraints given to find an alternative.  The author  
           also states that the European Union is concerned with the  
           extreme complexity of the proposed alternative assessment  
           procedure and high administrative burdens related to  
           implementation.  According to the author, the automobile  
           industry shares these concerns.  Three years to turn around an  
           alternative is unrealistic and could be problematic for the  
           manufacturers of automobile parts.  The author believes that  
           this could potentially lead to jobs lost in manufacturing  

        2) Chemicals in US Commerce  .  There are currently over 80,000  
           chemicals approved in United States commerce, with an  
           additional 3,000 to 6,000 added each year.  Each day, a total  
           of 42 billion pounds of chemical substances are produced or  
           imported in the U.S. for commercial and industrial uses.  An  
           additional 1,000 new chemicals are introduced into commerce  
           each year.  Approximately one new chemical comes to market  
           every 2.6 seconds.  Global chemical production is projected to  
           double every 25 years.  While the federal government, under  
           TSCA, does maintain an inventory of chemicals used in the  
           United States it does not test or approve the safety of a  
           chemical on the market.  The average U.S. consumer comes into  
           contact with 100 chemicals per day.   

          3) The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)  .  TSCA was enacted in  
           1976 to collect health and safety data on and regulate  
           chemicals in commerce.  However, over the last several decades  
           numerous academic, legal, and scientific bodies have all  
           concluded that TSCA has not served as an effective vehicle for  
           the public, industry, or government to assess the hazards of  
           chemicals in commerce.  After decades of implementation, TSCA  
           has largely failed to provide the necessary information to  


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           assess the health and environmental effects for tens of  
           thousands of chemicals in commerce.  In 2009 the Government  
           Accountability Office found US EPA's implementation of TSCA to  
           be "high-risk" because "US EPA has failed to develop  
           sufficient chemical assessment information on the toxicity of  
           many chemicals that may be found in the environment as well as  
           tens of thousands of chemicals used commercially in the United  
           States" and concluded by stating that Congress may wish to  
           amend TSCA and extend the US EPA more explicit authority.   
           There have been several unsuccessful attempts to amend TSCA by  
           Congress in recent years.

         4) Chemicals and Human Health Impacts  .  In 2009, the U.S. Centers  
           for Disease Control conducted the Fourth National Report on  
           Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals which measured 212  
           chemicals in the blood and urine of a representative  
           population of California.  This study and other "body burden"  
           studies quantify known chemicals in human tissues.  Many of  
           these chemicals identified in body burden studies have been  
           correlated with cancer, decreased male and female fertility,  
           obesity, and chronic diseases and, in animal models, have been  
           shown to have causative effects.  

           Chemicals play a role in chronic disease. For example, among  
          children, chemical exposures contribute to 100% of lead  
          poisoning cases, 10-35% of asthmas cases, and at least 2-10% of  
          some cancers and 5-20% of neurobehavioral disorders. In the  
          United States, the rate of varying chronic disease is  

          In 2009, the President's Cancer Panel focused their annual  
          report of environmental contributors to cancer.  The reporting  
          entitled "Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do  
          Now" stated that "the prevailing regulatory approach in the  
          United States is reactionary rather than precautionary.  That  
          is, instead of taking preventive action when uncertainty exists  
          about the potential harm a chemical or other environmental  
          contaminant may cause, a hazard must be incontrovertibly  
          demonstrated before action to ameliorate it is initiated.   
          Moreover, instead of requiring industry or other proponents of  
          specific chemicals, devices, or activities to prove their  


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          safety, the public bears the burden of proving that a given  
          environmental exposure is harmful.  Only a few hundred of the  
          more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States have  
          been tested for safety?. Weak laws and regulations, inefficient  
          enforcement, regulatory complexity, and fragmented authority  
          allow avoidable exposures to known or suspected cancer-causing  
          and cancer promoting agents to continue and proliferate in the  
          workplace and the community?. Existing regulations, and  
          exposure assessments on which they are based, are outdated in  
          most cases, and many known or suspected carcinogens are  
          completely unregulated."

         5) Green Chemistry in California  .  For more than a decade,  
           California has struggled to fill in the gaps in TSCA chemical  
           policy.  The California State Legislature has considered  
           nearly a hundred bills proposing chemical bans and broader  
           chemical policies for California, heard testimony from  
           "battling scientists" and was interested in developing a  
           broader, more comprehensive approach to chemical policy. 

           In 2003, the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and the  
           Assembly committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials  
           commissioned a report from the University of California to  
           investigate the current legal and regulatory structure for  
           chemical substance and report on how a California chemical  
           policy could address environmental and health concerns about  
           chemical toxicity, build a long-term capacity to improve the  
           design and use of chemicals, and understand the implications  
           of European policy on the California chemical market.

           In 2006, the U.C. Berkeley authors presented the commissioned  
           report, Green Chemistry in California: A Framework for  
           Leadership in Chemicals Policy and Innovation and made a  
           connection between weaknesses in federal policy, namely TSCA,  
           and the health and environmental damage happening in  
           California.  The report broadly summarized their findings into  
           what they called the "three gaps."
             a)     Data Gap:  There is a lack of information on which  
               chemicals are safe, which are toxic, and what chemicals  
               are in products.  The lack of access to chemical data  
               creates an unequal marketplace.  California businesses  


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               cannot choose and make safer products and respond to  
               consumer demand without ingredient disclosure and safety  

             b)     Safety Gap:  Government agencies do not have the  
               legal tools or information to prioritize chemical hazards.  
                Under TSCA only 5 chemicals out of 83,000 have been  
               banned since 1976.  The California Legislature has  
               frequently addressed this problem by approving individual  
               chemical bans.  Chemical bans come before the Legislature  
               because there are very few other mechanisms in place at  
               the federal or state level that can remove harmful  
               chemicals from the marketplace.

             c)     Technology Gap:  There is an absence of regulatory  
               incentives, market motivation which stems from the data  
               gap, and educational emphasis on green chemistry  
               methodologies and technologies.  In order to build a  
               substantial green chemistry infrastructure, a coincident  
               investment and commitment must be made to strengthen  
               industrial and academic research and development.

             In 2007, the California Environmental Protection Agency  
             launched California's Green Chemistry Initiative within  
             DTSC.  The California Green Chemistry Initiative Final  
             Report released in December 2008 included the following six  
             policy recommendations for implementing this comprehensive  
             program in order to foster a new era in the design of a new  
             consumer products economy - inventing, manufacturing and  
             using toxic-free, sustainable products.  

               a)       Expand Pollution Prevention and product  
                 stewardship programs to more business sectors to focus  
                 on prevention rather than simple source reduction or  
                 waste controls.

               b)       Develop Green Chemistry Workforce Education and  
                 Training, Research and Development and Technology  
                 Transfer through new and existing educational program  
                 and public/private partnerships.

               c)       Create an Online Product Ingredient Network to  
                 disclose chemical ingredients for products sold in  


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                 California, while protecting trade secrets.

               d)       Create an Online Toxics Clearinghouse, an online  
                 database providing data on chemical, toxicity and hazard  
                 traits to the market place and public.

               e)       Accelerate the Quest for Safer Products, creating  
                 a systematic, science-based process to evaluate  
                 chemicals of concern and identify safer alternatives to  
                 ensure product safety.

               f)       Move Toward a Cradle-to-Cradle Economy to  
                 leverage market forces to produce products that are  
                 "benign-by-design" in part by establishing a California  
                 Green Products Registry to develop green metrics and  
                 tools for a range of consumer products and encourage  
                 their use by businesses.

           In 2008, Assembly Bill 1879 (Feuer) Chapter 559, Statutes of  
           2008 and Senate Bill 509 (Simitian) Chapter 560, Statutes of  
           2008 were signed by the Governor to implement together two key  
           pieces of the Green Chemistry Initiative for California: 1)  
           requiring DTSC to adopt regulations for the identification and  
           prioritization and evaluation of chemicals or chemical  
           ingredients in products that may be considered a "chemical of  
           concern" and their potential alternatives; and 2) requiring  
           DTSC and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment  
           to establish a Toxics Information Clearinghouse for the  
           collection, maintenance, and distribution of specific chemical  
           hazard traits and environmental and toxicological end-point  
           data and evaluate and specify the hazard traits and  
           environmental and toxicological end-points and any other  
           relevant data that are to be included in the clearinghouse.

         6) Safer Consumer Products Regulations  .  AB 1879 mandates DTSC  
           adopt the Safer Consumer Products regulations by January 1,  
           2011.  The regulations have been a work in progress for  
           several years.  DTSC issued its first proposed regulations in  
           June 2010, followed by several sets of revisions that drew  
           criticism from both industry and consumer advocates.  DTSC  
           withdrew those proposed regulations in August, 2011.  On July  
           27, 2012, DTSC issued a substantially revised version of the  
           regulations with changes aimed at addressing much of the  


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           criticism.  Following public comment to the July 2012 draft,  
           DTSC made additional revisions, issuing revised regulations on  
           January 29, 2013, made additional changes and released the  
           most recent version on April 10, 2013.  DTSC expects to have  
           the final regulations adopted later this year.

           The following summarizes the key elements of the regulations:  

            a)     IDENTIFY - Immediate Establishment of List of ~1,200  
              "Candidate Chemicals" Upon Effective Date of the  
              Regulations.  The regulations include 23 separate Chemicals  
              Lists.  Chemicals on these lists display a hazard trait  
              and/or have confirmed exposure through biomonitoring or  
              other means.  Upon adoption of the regulations these  
              approximately 1,200 Chemicals become "Candidate Chemicals"  
              by "operation of law."  

           b)    PRIORITIZE - DTSC Further Identifies and Prioritizes  
              Product-Chemical Pairings to List Priority Products.  The  
              regulations require DTSC to further evaluate chemicals that  
              are Candidate Chemicals and pair them with a consumer  
              product containing one of more of these Candidate Chemicals  
              to name Priority Products.  Thus, a Priority Product is a  
              product-chemical combination that consists of one or more  
              Candidate Chemicals in a Consumer Product.  Once the  
              product-chemical combination is identified by DTSC as a  
              Priority Product, the chemical that led to its listing as a  
              Priority Product is now known as a Chemical of Concern.  

           c)    ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS - The Responsible Entity for a  
              Priority Product Conducts an Alternatives Analysis of Its  
              Priority Product to See If It Can be Made with a Safer  
              Alternative.  The regulations require that once a Priority  
              Product is listed by DTSC, the "responsible entity" for  
              that product (i.e. manufacturer or importer) must conduct  
              an Alternatives Analysis (AA).  The AA is an evaluation of  
              the Chemical of Concern in the Priority Product and  
              comparison/evaluation of possible alternatives to the  
              Chemical of Concern in the Priority Product.  There are  
              built in, numerous "off ramps" in the regulations that  
              allow a responsible entity to comply by performing less  


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              than a full-blown Alternatives Analysis if other means of  
              complying with the regulations are satisfied.  The  
              responsible entity must report to DTSC the results of its  

           d)    REGULATORY RESPONSE - Upon Receipt of the Alternatives  
              Analysis Reports, DTSC May Impose One or More Regulatory  
              Response on The Priority Product or Any Selected  
              Alternative.  The regulations specify seven specific  
              regulatory responses that DTSC may impose, depending upon  
              the results of the AA and the alternative selected, if any.  
               In addition to the possibility that no regulatory response  
              may be required, the regulatory responses include:   
              supplemental information requirements; product information  
              for consumers; use restrictions on chemicals and products;  
              product sales prohibition; engineered safety measures or  
              administrative controls; end-of-life management  
              requirements; and advancement of Green Chemistry and Green  
              Engineering through the funding of grants. 


        7) Revisions to address the automobile manufacturing industry  
           concerns .  In response to comments received from the auto  
           manufacturing industry, to accommodate the  concerns raised by  
           industry, DTSC made a series of revisions:

           a)    For an assembled product, DTSC will list a component or  
              components, not an entire product.

           b)    Limited listing for a "complex durable good" (which  
              includes automobiles) to no more than 10 components per  
              product every 3 years. 


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           c)    Changed the definition of "product" to exclude "historic  
              products" (i.e., cars and other products that ceased to be  
              manufactured prior to the date the product type is listed  
              as a Priority Product).

           d)    Assemblers (which include many automobile manufacturers)  
              have been excluded from the definition of manufacturer, and  
              thus they no longer have primary responsibility for  
              compliance with the regulations. Definition of "assembler"  
              was revised to include those who assemble components to  
              repair or maintain a previously sold product (in addition  
              to those who assemble components to create a new product).

           e)    Authorized DTSC to allow a manufacturer up to 3 years to  
              complete an Alternatives Analysis (AA) (instead of the one  
              year plus a one-year extension); if the manufacturer  
              demonstrates that this amount of time is needed to comply  
              with regulatory safety and/or performance testing  
              requirements for multiple alternatives prior to choosing  
              which alternative to pursue.

           f)    Clarified that the AA due dates apply to the submission  
              of the AA Reports, not implementation of an AA decision.

           g)    When imposing a regulatory response, DTSC will have the  
              flexibility to consider whether or not the regulatory  
              response should be applied to either of the following: 

                o         Priority Products ordered by a retailer prior  
                  to the effective date of the Priority Product listing,  
                  and still for sale as of the date of the final  
                  regulatory response determination notice.

                o         Priority Products manufactured after the  


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                  effective date of the Priority Product listing, but  
                                                     before the date of the final regulatory response  
                  determination notice.

           a)    Added language to explicitly state that nothing in the  
              regulations authorizes DTSC to supersede the requirements  
              of another California state or federal regulatory program.

           b)    Issued a Revised Initial Statement of Reasons (Revised  
              ISOR) to remove catalytic converters as an example of a  
              component that could be identified as a Priority Product  
              (as opposed to an entire automobile).  The automobile  
              industry noted the change, and expressed support for it.

           c)    For both the Alternatives Analysis and Regulatory  
              Responses, the scope of evaluation and compliance is  
              limited to the Chemical of Concern that led to the product  
              being listed as a Priority Product and any newly introduced  
              alternative chemicals.  

           d)    Restricted when DTSC may require additional information  
              beyond that already provided in the Alternatives Analysis  
              Report as one of the Regulatory Responses. 

           e)    Eliminated the provisions allowing DTSC to impose  
              Regulatory Responses to situations other than those  
              specifically set out in the regulations and the provision  
              requiring the manufacturer to periodically revisit the  
              effectiveness of the Regulatory Response(s) imposed.


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           f)    Provided that if a Chemical of Concern is removed, but  
              not replaced with another chemical, no further evaluation  
              of the Priority Product is required.  


        1) Additional revisions  .  There were other revisions requested by  
           industry stakeholders in general which were endorsed by the  
           automobile manufacturers.  The most substantial of these  
           changes are:

           a)    The initial list of chemicals is now called "Candidate  
              Chemicals" list rather than "Chemicals of Concern."  The  
              significance of this change is that the list of  
              approximately 1,200 chemicals do not become "Chemicals of  
              Concern" unless and until they are part of a  
              product-chemical pairing listed by DTSC as a "Priority  

           b)    Language has been added to confirm and clarify that the  
              Priority Products list will be adopted as a rulemaking  
              subject to the Administrative Procedure Act.

           c)    An upfront applicability exemption has been added for  
              products regulated under other laws and regulatory regimes  
              that provide equivalent or greater protections with respect  
              to the same public health and environmental concerns  
              addressed by these regulations.



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        2) Arguments in support  .  According to the UAW, four years ago,  
           the UAW negotiated with President Obama to reform the nation's  
           fuel economy law.  The support states that under this historic  
           achievement, fleets must average 54.5 MPG by model year 2025.   
           According to the UAW, the members of the UAW are making the  
           safest, cleanest and most fuel efficient vehicles in the  
           world.  According to the UAW, the American automotive industry  
           is roaring back and leading the effort to pull our economy out  
           of the Great Recession.  The UAW is proud to be a vital part  
           of this renaissance.    According to the UAW, application of  
           Green Chemistry to the design and production of vehicles will  
           impede progress towards achieving the national standard by  
           2025.  The UAW asserts that consumer safety and clean air may  
           be jeopardized and efforts to achieve fuel economy may be  

         3) Arguments in opposition  .  The opponents argue that the Safer  
           Consumer Products regulations provide for the only program in  
           California that has the authority to regulate the use of  
           chemicals in cars.  Excluding automobiles from this important  
           program excludes a source of pollution and toxic exposure from  
           regulatory review.  The average driver spends over an hour a  
           day in an automobile. Consumers deserve the same protection  
           from toxic chemicals in their cars as they will receive in  
           their homes or workplaces.  The opponents believe that while  
           auto emissions are regulated by the California Air Resources  
           Board, the actual materials that are used to manufacture an  
           automobile are not regulated.  Toxic chemicals such as  
           phthalates, lead, copper and flame retardants are all used to  
           manufacture cars.  The opponents cite that many of the  
           chemicals in the signature "new car smell" can be harmful to  
           human health, and toxic flame retardants can leach out of car  
           seats every time a person sits down. Additionally, some of the  
           heavy metals used in automobiles can pose an environmental  
           hazard at the end of the car's life leaving the state with the  
           job of ensuring these chemicals do not end up in our soil or  
           waterways.  It is for these reasons that the Legislature  
           rejected the automotive industry's request for an exemption  
           from this program when the authorizing legislation was  
           approved in 2008.   The opponents state that while the  
           legislation was passed in 2008, regulations fully implementing  
           the program have not yet been adopted.  It would be premature  


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           for any industry to seek an exemption to a program that is not  
           even established.  Moreover, during the implementation  
           process, DTSC has made several concessions at the request of  
           the automotive industry including limiting the number of  
           chemicals that will be prioritized per product in a given  
           regulatory cycle and limiting the definition of manufacturer  
           to exclude "assemblers" which effectively excludes car  
           manufacturers.  It is for these reasons that the opponents  
           believe that it is critical that the program be allowed to  
           move forward without alteration so that it can begin to do the  
           important work the Legislature intended for it to do five  
           years ago. 

         4) Should automobile manufacturers be exempted from the Safer  
           Consumer Products Regulations  ?  AB 1879 (Feuer), considered  
           and provided specified exemptions as listed above.  When  
           considering AB 1879 the automobile industry asked to be  
           granted a similar exemption and the Legislature declined.   
           Since enactment of AB 1879, the automobile manufacturing  
           industry has continued to request an exemption from this  
           process.  They have been denied because there are components  
           of automobiles that may warrant consideration under the Safer  
           Consumer Products regulations.  Furthermore, if analysis  
           policies like those created by AB 1879 and SB 509 had been  
           part of TSCA in 1976, there may have been greater protection  
           of public health and the environment from potential harm  
           caused by vehicle components.  


           Asbestos in brake pads and linings, clutch facings, and  
           gaskets  .  For many decades, asbestos has been used by the  
           automotive industry in brake pads and linings, clutch facings,  
           and gaskets.  Millions of these products still remain on  
           vehicles currently in use today, which poses a risk of  
           asbestos exposure to current and former auto mechanics across  
           the country.


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           Although the health hazards of asbestos became public  
           knowledge in 1977, asbestos dust continues to be a hazard in  
           automobile components today.  It was not until the 1990's that  
           asbestos-free brake pads were introduced into commerce.   
           Millions of cars and trucks still have asbestos-containing  
           brakes and clutches, which were routinely used in older  
           vehicles.  Domestic automakers state that asbestos materials  
           are no longer used in friction products, however, foreign  
           manufacturers of after-market brake pads are under no federal  
           economic or regulatory requirement to cease using asbestos  
           materials.  Although the use of asbestos and asbestos products  
           has dramatically decreased in recent years, its use is not  
           banned for historic uses in the United States and imported  
           auto parts continue to contain asbestos materials.  SB 346  
           (Kehoe), Chapter 307, Statutes of 2010 restricts asbestos and  
           other toxic materials in automobile brake pads as of January  
           1, 2014, in California.

           Persons occupationally exposed to asbestos have developed  
           several types of life-threatening diseases, including  
           asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.  It is estimated  
           that more than six million mechanics have been exposed to  
           asbestos in brakes since 1940, and those exposures are now  
           resulting in about 580 excess asbestos-related cancer deaths a  

           Had there been an analysis similar to that required by the  
           Safer Consumer Products regulations, an alternative to  
           asbestos containing automobile components could have been  
           found and used sooner.  

            Mercury and copper in automobile components  .  In recent years,  
           the California Legislature has enacted several measures to  
           specifically address environmental harm caused by automotive  


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           components.   Mercury switches and copper in brake pads are  
           two examples of automotive components that have been  
           legislatively banned in recent years.  These two issues are  
           examples of where the Safer Consumer Products regulations  
           could have appropriately applied to the automotive industry.

           SB 633 (Sher), Chapter 656, Statutes of 2001, among other  
           things prohibits the sale of a vehicle, after January 1, 2005,  
           containing a mercury-containing vehicle light switch and  
           requires any mercury-containing vehicle light switch, as  
           defined, that is removed from a vehicle to be subject to the  
           regulations adopted by the Department of Toxic Substances  
           Control regarding the management of universal waste and other  
           applicable regulations, and requires DTSC to take specified  
           actions with regard to the safe removal and disposal of those  
           switches.  At the time this bill was enacted, an estimated 130  
           to 180 tons of mercury were present in the hood and trunk  
           switches of automobiles in use or at automotive recycling  
           yards throughout the United States.  This mercury often can  
           enter the environment, and ultimately the state's waterways,  
           directly through vaporization or spillage when broken during  
           use, transportation, or disposal.

           The Brake Pad Partnership is a collaborative group of brake  
           manufacturers, environmentalists, stormwater management  
           entities, and regulators that originally came together to  
           understand the impact on the environment of brake pad wear  
           debris.  Before the Partnership committed to investing  
           significant state and private resources in technical studies,  
           the Brake Manufacturers Council (BMC) and its members  
           (primarily manufacturers of original equipment friction  
           materials) agreed to introduce reformulated products if the  
           technical studies indicated that copper in brake pads was  
           contributing significantly to water quality impairment.  The  
           State Water Resources Control Board and Caltrans together  
           contributed close to $1 million towards paying for the  
           subsequent research into the issue.  In late 2007 the  
           Partnership completed a series of interlinked laboratory,  
           environmental monitoring, and environmental modeling studies  
           that indicated that brake pads are a substantial contributor  
           to copper in runoff to the San Francisco Bay.  As the  
           technical studies' results emerged, the Partnership shifted  
           its focus to determining an appropriate mechanism for reducing  


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           copper in brakes in California.  

           Debris from friction materials containing copper are generated  
           and released to the surrounding environment in the course of  
           normal brake system operation.  Tens of thousands of pounds of  
           copper and other substances released from brake friction  
           materials enter California's streams, rivers, and marine  
           environment every year, contaminating urban watersheds across  

           Dissolved copper is toxic to phytoplankton (the base of the  
           aquatic food chain).  It also impairs salmon's ability to  
           avoid predators and deters them from returning to their home  
           streams to spawn.  Scientific studies have shown that a major  
           source of copper in highly urbanized watersheds is material  
           worn off vehicle brake pads. It is estimated that about  
           one-half of the copper found in run-off is attributed to brake  

           SB 346 (Kehoe), Chapter  307, Statutes of 2010 restricts the  
           use of copper, cadmium, chromium (VI)-salts, lead and its  
           compounds and mercury and its compounds and asbestos in  
           automobile brake pads.

            Indoor air quality of automobiles  .  There continues to be  
           concern about adverse health and environmental impacts  
           associated with chemicals used in automobile components.  For  
           example, according to a report issued by the Ecology Center in  
           February 2012, "Several studies have investigated the  
           concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), brominated  
           flame retardants (BFRs) and hydrocarbons in car interiors.   
           Many of these levels exceeding indoor and outdoor air quality  
           standards.  These compounds are present in the interior  
           fabrics and materials of the car (coatings, trims, leather,  
           etc)?The average person spends about 5.5% of their time in  
           automobiles during the work commute, recreation or other  
           travel activities which makes it an important microenvironment  
           for exposure to pollutant.  The importance of this  
           microenvironment has noted by the World Health Organization  
           which has recognized interior air pollution of vehicles are a  
           major threat to human health."  


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        12)  The Purpose of the Safer Consumer Products Regulations  .   
        After nearly a 

           decade of considering almost 100 bills relating to chemical  
           bans and regulation, the Legislature enacted AB 1879 and SB  
           509 to institute a balanced scientific process for the  
           consideration of an appropriate regulatory response for the  
           state to take on specific chemicals of concern in consumer  
           products rather than the yearly legislative consideration of  
           bills to ban individual chemicals.  Exempting specific  
           products, such as automobiles, directly conflicts with the  
           purpose of this law:  to allow the regulatory and scientific  
           process to determine whether a chemical in a consumer product  
           should be evaluated and potentially regulated to protect  
           public health and the environment.

         SOURCE  :        The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
        SUPPORT :       California Chamber of Commerce
                       International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace  
                          Agricultural Implement Workers of America,  
                       Region 5 (UAW)
                       Specialty Equipment Market Association 
        OPPOSITION  :    Breast Cancer Fund  
                       California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
                       Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy
                       Center for Biological Diversity
                       Center for Environmental Health
                       Clean Water Action
                       CHANGE Coalition
                       Environment California
                       Planning & Conservation League
                       Sierra Club California


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