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E-M:/ PBDEs: CA. SENATE PASSES BILL TO REGULATE CHEMICAL FIRERETARDANTS



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Enviro-Mich message from Mary Beth Doyle <marybeth@ecocenter.org>
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If this should come through, CA would be the first state in the 
nation to regulate PBDEs. "The next PCBs," PBDEs are a persistent, 
toxic and build up in the food chain.  A recent study found that PBDE 
contamination is widespread in Lake Michigan salmon. Other studies 
have found PBDEs in breast milk.  For more info on PBDEs, go to:
http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/NewScience/oncompounds/PBDE/whatarepbdes.htm

Rep. Chris Kolb has introduced PBDE legislation in Michigan, but the 
bills have not yet had a committee hearing.


BREAKING NEWS: July 17, 2003

CONTACT: Bill Walker or Sonya Lunder, (51) 444-0973 or 444-0975
Rachel Richman, Office of Majority Leader Wilma Chan: (510) 286-1670

CALIFORNIA SENATE PASSES BILL TO REGULATE CHEMICAL FIRE RETARDANTS

SACRAMENTO, July 17 - AB 302, Assemblywoman Wilma Chan's bill to ban two
forms of toxic fire retardants in California beginning in 2008, passed the
California Senate this morning by a vote of 25 to 12.

AB 302 now goes back to the Assembly, which has already passed it, for
concurrence, then to the governor. As we noted, the Davis administration has
said it supports the bill. If the governor signs it as expected, California
will become the first state in the nation to regulate PBDEs, brominated fire
retardants that are building up rapidly in people, animals and the
environment worldwide. The chemicals are used in hundreds of everyday items,
including computers, TV sets, cars and furniture.

Last week, Environmental Working Group released results of the first-ever
tests on San Francisco Bay fish for brominated fire retardants. The study
found that levels of the chemicals in California halibut and striped bass,
the two most commonly eaten fish from the Bay, had increased by a factor of
two to three in the last five years.

Exposure to low doses of PBDEs can cause permanent neurological and
developmental damage including deficits in learning, memory and hearing,
changes in behavior, and delays in sensory-motor development. Most at risk
are pregnant women, developing fetuses, infants and young children, and the
10 million Americans with hypothyroidism. Scientists say most Americans may
already carry levels of PBDEs that cause serious nerve damage in lab
animals.

"We don't have to poison the Bay or our bodies for fire safety," said Sonya
Lunder, EWG analyst and principal author of the study. "Computers and other
products can be made flame-resistant by using different materials or better
design, instead of adding toxic chemicals that are a public health
timebomb."

The EWG report is available at www.ewg.org/reports/taintedcatch.


Bill Walker, Vice President/West Coast
Environmental Working Group
1904 Franklin St. #703 Oakland CA 94612
bwalker@ewg.org | www.ewg.org
T: (510) 444-0973 F: (510) 444.0982



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Mary Beth Doyle, MPH
Environmental Health Project
Ecology Center
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor MI 48104

734-663-2400 ext 108
734-663-2414 (fax)

www.ecocenter.org


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