Report Title:

Protect Children from Toxic Products



Prohibits the manufacturing, sale, or distribution of toys and child care articles containing certain toxic chemicals and requires manufacturers to use the least toxic alternatives.



H.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 with 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 United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that ninety-five per cent of Americans have detectable levels of bisphenol-A in their bodies.  The observed levels of bisphenol-A were within the range of concentrations known to reliably cause adverse effects in laboratory experiments.  More than one hundred thirty studies suggest that bisphenol-A exposure at very low doses is linked to a staggering number of health problems, including prostate and breast cancer, obesity, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, brain damage, altered immune system, lowered sperm counts, and early puberty.  Numerous studies show that polycarbonate plastics break down and leach bisphenol-A into food or beverages in contact with the plastics.

     Scientific evidence also shows that phthalates of concern 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 countries have restricted the use of phthalates in children’s toys.  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 that can be put in the 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 purpose of this Act is to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution of products for young children containing bisphenol-A or phthalates and to require 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:

     "§   -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter:

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

     "Child care article" means all products designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or the feeding of children or to help children with sucking or teething.

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

     "Toy" means all products designed or intended by the manufacturer to be used by children when they play.

     §   -2  Prohibition of manufacture, sale, or distribution.  Beginning January 1, 2009, no person or entity shall manufacture, sell, or distribute in commerce any toy or child care article that fits any of the following:

     (1)  Intended for use by a child under 3 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 3 years of age, can be placed in the child's mouth, and contains diisononyl phthalate, diisodecyl phthalate, or di-n-octyl phthalate in concentrations exceeding 0.1 per cent.

     §   -3  Alternatives to bisphenol-A and phthalates.  Manufacturers shall use the least toxic alternative when replacing bisphenol-A and phthalates in accordance with this chapter.  Manufacturers shall not replace bisphenol-A and phthalates, pursuant to this chapter, with either:

     (1)  Carcinogens rated as A, B, or C carcinogens in 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 upon its approval.