Two key bills have been introduced this year by Assemblymember Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach). The first, AB 1139, would rid California hospitals of a toxin known to cause reproductive damage. Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, or DEHP, is added to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic medical devices such as IV bags, flexible tubing, blood bags, respiratory therapy equipment, and other products. DEHP is known to leach from such devices into patients’ bodies. Lab animal studies have demonstrated that DEHP can be harmful
to the developing male reproductive tract, resulting in testicular atrophy, an arrest in spermatogenesis, and other complications.
AB 1139 requires manufacturers to supply hospitals with DEHP-free medical
products in a tiered approach to assure they are cost-competitive and
readily available. It also required manufacturers to immediately label DEHPadded products.
A second bill, The Nontoxic Dry Cleaning Incentive Program (AB 998)
provides financial incentives for dry cleaners to switch from processes using
perchloroethylene (perc) to processes that are non-toxic and non-smog forming.The bill places a manufacturer’s fee on perc, and requires at least half of the collected fees to be disbursed in a manner that benefits communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), occupational exposure to perchloroethylene (perc) can cause depression of the central nervous system; damage to the liver and kidneys; impaired memory; confusion; dizziness; headache; drowsiness; and eye, nose, and throat irritation. A study by the California Air Resources Board (ARB)
on perc exposure to the general population gives cause for concern that the chemical may adversely affect public health in some areas. Perc has been classified by the ARB as a Toxic Air Contaminant (TAC) and is listed under Proposition 65 as a human carcinogen.
Please contact Assembly member Lowenthal’s office and voice your strong
support for these important bills:
The Honorable Alan Lowenthal State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 94249-0054 (916) 319-2054