Bill Text: HI SB930 | 2011 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Toxic Products; Infant and Child Safety

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 8-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2011-01-24 - (S) Referred to HTH, JDL. [SB930 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2011-SB930-Introduced.html


S.B. NO.



















     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that chronic diseases such as asthma, autism, birth defects, cancers, developmental disabilities, diabetes, endometriosis, infertility, and Parkinson's disease are increasingly linked to repeated and increased exposure to toxic substances.  Growing children are particularly at risk to chemicals in their environment, as they face greater exposure per pound of body weight and are physiologically more susceptible to chemicals.  Precautionary measures must be taken to protect them.

     A recent study by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that ninety-five per cent of Americans have detectable levels of bisphenol-A in their bodies.  Children were found to have higher levels than adults.  The observed levels of bisphenol-A were within the range of concentrations known to reliably cause adverse results in laboratory experiments.  Government toxicologists in the national toxicology program, including scientists from the National Institutes of Health and other agencies, have expressed concern that bisphenol-A can cause developmental problems in the brain and hormonal systems of infants and children.  Toxicologists based their findings on studies conducted on animals and could not dismiss the possibility that the effects in animals may occur in humans.

     More than one hundred thirty studies have suggested that bisphenol-A exposure, even in very low doses, is linked to a staggering number of health problems, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, obesity, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, brain damage, altered immune system, lowered sperm count, and premature puberty.  Numerous studies have shown that polycarbonate plastics break down and leach bisphenol-A into food or beverages in contact with the plastics.

     The United States Food and Drug Administration recently announced that it believes there is reason for concern about the effects of bisphenol-A on children.  Accordingly, the Food and Drug Administration is taking interim steps to work with the plastics industry to reduce exposure, including minimizing the amounts currently used in products and searching for substitutes.  Several other government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, are increasing research on the health effects of bisphenol-A.  The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing action plans that include bisphenol-A, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is providing $30,000,000 over two years for private and public research. 

     Health Canada conducted a risk assessment that concluded that there is concern about neurological development problems from exposure of infants and small children to bisphenol-A.  As a result, Canada has banned the use of bisphenol-A in baby bottles and is restricting its use in infant formula cans.  In the United States, Maryland, Minnesota, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Vermont, Washington, and New York have banned the sale in those states of childrens' bottles and drinking cups that contain bisphenol-A.

     Scientific evidence has also shown that phthalates are found in humans at levels associated with adverse effects.  Population studies show that virtually everyone carries some level of phthalates in their body.  The European Union and many individual countries have restricted the use of phthalates in children’s toys.  More specifically, the European Union has banned di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate, di-n-butyl phthalate, and butyl benzyl phthalate in all toys and child care articles and diisononyl phthalate, diisodecyl phthalate, and di-n-octyl phthalate in toys and child care articles small enough for a child's mouth.  Prior to the European Union ban, the following countries had also banned phthalates in children’s toys:  Argentina, Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, and Sweden.

     The legislature finds that it is in the best interest of Hawaii's children to significantly reduce their exposure to bisphenol- A and phthalates as early as possible, and ultimately, eliminate exposure altogether.  The purpose of this Act is to ensure the health and safety of children by prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and distribution of food and drink containers for young children that contain bisphenol-A or phthalates and requiring manufacturers to choose safe alternatives.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 321, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:


     §321-     Short title.  This part shall be known, and may be cited, as the Toxin-Free Keiki Act.

     §321-     Definitions.  As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

     "Bisphenol-A" refers to an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disrupter chemical used in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics.

     "Child care article" means an empty food or drink container that is designed and intended by the manufacturer to be filled with food or liquid and to be used by a child.

     "Phthalates" and "phthalate esters" refer to a group of chemical compounds that are used mainly to plasticize food and drink containers, plastic wrap, shampoos, perfumes, and beauty products.

     §321-     Prohibition of manufacture, sale, or distribution.  Beginning January 1, 2012, no person or legal entity shall manufacture, sell, or distribute any child care article in the State that is:

     (1)  Intended for use by a child under three years of age and contains bisphenol-A;

     (2)  Contains di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate, di-n-butyl phthalate, or butyl benzyl phthalate in concentrations exceeding 0.1 per cent; or

     (3)  Intended for use by a child under three years of age, and contains diisononyl phthalate, diisodecyl phthalate, or di-n-octyl phthalate in concentrations exceeding 0.1 per cent.

     §321-     Alternatives to bisphenol-A and phthalates.  Manufacturers shall use the least toxic alternative when replacing bisphenol-A and phthalates in accordance with this part.  Manufacturers shall not replace bisphenol-A and phthalates, pursuant to this part, with either:

     (1)  Carcinogens rated as A, B, or C by the United States Environmental Protection Agency's list of chemicals evaluated for carcinogenic potential; or

     (2)  Reproductive toxicants that cause birth defects, reproductive harm, or developmental harm as identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency."

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2011.








Report Title:

Toxic Products; Infant and Child Safety



Prohibits the manufacturing, sale, or distribution of drink and food containers for young children containing certain toxic chemicals and requires manufacturers to use the least toxic alternatives.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.