Air Pollution; Children's Health
Establishes a children's environmental health council to monitor, assess, and evaluate air pollution to enhance children's health.
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO AIR POLLUTION CONTROL.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that:
(1) Infants and children have a higher ventilation rate than adults relative to their body weight and lung surface area, resulting in a greater dose of pollution delivered to their lungs;
(2) Children have narrower airways than adults. Consequently, irritation or inflammation caused by air pollution that would produce only a slight response in an adult can result in potentially significant obstruction of the airway in a young child;
(3) Children spend significantly more time outdoors, especially the summer, when ozone pollution levels are typically highest. National statistics show that children spend an average of fifty per cent more time outdoors than adults;
(4) Air pollution is known to exacerbate asthma and be a trigger for asthma attacks in infants and children; and
(5) Infants' and childrens' developing organs and tissues are more susceptible to damage from some environmental contaminants than adult organs and tissues.
The purposes of this Act are to establish a children's environmental health council to:
(1) Ensure that ambient air quality standards provide and establish air-borne toxic control measures to ensure the adequate protection of the health of infants and children; and
(2) Consider, in the process of establishing air pollution standards, the health impacts from air pollution on all populations of children and special subpopulations of infants and children comprising a meaningful portion of the general population, including children with asthma, cystic fibrosis, or other respiratory conditions or diseases.
SECTION 2. Chapter 342B, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§342B- Children's environmental health council; air pollution standards board for children's environmental health. (a) There is created a children's environmental health council which shall be under the department of health for administrative purposes. There shall be seven members on the council, to be appointed by the governor as provided in section 26-34 for four year terms; provided that the initial terms shall be staggered as provided in section 26-34(a). The director shall serve as ex officio member and chair of the council. The members shall collectively have experience and expertise in environmental health, public health, children's and infant's health, economics, and air pollution. Members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties. The department shall provide the appropriate professional and support personnel, whether department employees or private consultants, to advise the members in fulfilling their duties under this section.
(b) The children's environmental health council shall:
(1) Advise the department and the governor on matters under this chapter relating to the health and environmental effects on infants and children;
(2) Assess the effectiveness of statutes, rules, and programs designed to protect children from environmental hazards;
(3) Coordinate state efforts among the departments and agencies regarding regulatory efforts, research, data collection, and other programs and services that impact the environmental health of children;
(4) Establish special ambient air quality standards under section 342B-12(1) specifically to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of children and infants. In establishing the standards, the council shall:
(A) Consider the impact to the general population, including the esthetic value and effects on the economy;
(B) Assess the following, using current principles, practices, and methods used by public health professionals who are experienced practitioners in the field of human health effects assessment:
(i) Exposure patterns to children and infants that are likely to result in disproportionately high exposure to ambient air pollutants in comparison to the general population;
(ii) Special susceptibility of children and infants to ambient air pollutants in comparison to the general population;
(iii) Effects on children and infants of exposure to ambient air pollutants and other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity; and
(iv) Interaction of multiple air pollutants on children and infants, including the interaction between criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants;
(5) Recommend to the department adequate and effective air pollution monitoring mechanisms and networks to gather data necessary to determine the exposure of children and infants to air pollutants, including criteria for air pollutants and toxic air contaminants; provided that the monitoring shall cover, at minimum, sites where children tend to congregate, including schools, parks, playgrounds, day care centers, outdoor recreational facilities that are in close proximity to major industrial sources of air pollution and toxic air contaminants, including freeways and major traffic areas. The purpose of the air pollution monitors shall be to conduct sampling of air pollution levels affecting children and infants. Monitoring may include use of fixed, mobile, and other monitoring devices, as appropriate; and
(6) Evaluate the health effects of and make recommendations regarding substances, other than pesticides in their pesticidal use, that are or may be emitted into the ambient air and that may be determined to be toxic air contaminants. The evaluation shall assess:
(A) The availability and quality of data on health effects, including potency, mode of action, and other relevant biological factors, of the substance;
(B) Exposure patterns among children and infants that are likely to result in disproportionately high exposure to ambient air pollutants in comparison to the general population;
(C) Special susceptibility of children and infants to ambient pollutants in comparison to the general population;
(D) Effects on children and infants of exposure to toxic air contaminants and other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity; and
(E) The interaction of multiple air pollutants on children and infants, including the interaction between criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants;
The evaluation shall contain an estimate of the levels of exposure that may cause or contribute to adverse health effects. If it can be established that a threshold of adverse health effects exists, the estimate shall include the exposure level below which no adverse health effects are anticipated; an ample margin of safety that accounts for the variable effects that heterogeneous human populations exposed to the substance under evaluation may experience; the uncertainties associated with the applicability of the data to human beings; and the completeness and quality of the information available on potential human exposure to the substance. If there is no threshold of significant adverse health effects for any particular substance, the council shall determine the range of risk to humans resulting from current or anticipated exposure to the substance. The evaluation shall be performed using current principles, practices, and methods used by public health professionals who are experienced practitioners in the fields of epidemiology, human health effects assessment, risk assessment, and toxicity.
(c) For purposes of this section, the children's environmental health council may request from a person or entity, information on any substance that is or may be under evaluation by the council and that is manufactured, distributed, emitted, or used by the person or entity. The person or entity shall provide in a timely manner, any information requested by the children's environmental health council. If the information is determined to be a trade secret as defined in section 482B-3, the council shall not release the information to the public. Any other information not deemed a trade secret shall be made available to the public under chapter 92F.
(d) For purposes of this section, the children's environmental health council shall give priority to the evaluation and regulation of substances based on factors related to the risk of harm to public health; amount or potential amount of emissions; manner of, exposure to, and usage of the substance in the State; persistence in the atmosphere; and ambient concentrations in the community.
(e) No later than July 1, 2005, the children's environmental health council shall establish a list of up to five toxic air contaminants that may cause children and infants to be especially susceptible to illness; provided that the council shall state on the list the reasons for including a contaminant. In developing the list, the council shall consider public exposures to toxic air contaminants, whether by themselves or by interaction with other toxic air contaminants or criteria pollutants, and the factors under subsection (b)(4). The council shall review and modify the list as necessary, but in no event less than biennially. The list shall be made available to the public and provided to public and private school officials.
The department shall adopt rules under chapter 91 necessary to regulate the substances on the list.
(f) No later than July 1, 2005, the children's environmental health council shall establish cancer risk assessment guidelines to be used to formulate cancer potency values or numeric health guidance values that adequately address carcinogenic exposures to the fetus, infants, and children. The council shall review and modify the guidelines as necessary, but in no event less than biennially. For purposes of this subsection, the council shall:
(1) Consider existing state and federal cancer risk guidelines, if any, and new information on carcinogenesis, if any;
(2) Develop criteria for identifying carcinogens likely to have a greater impact if exposures occur early in life;
(3) Construct a data base of animal studies to evaluate increases in risks from short term early-in-life exposures; and
(4) Publish children's cancer guidelines that shall be protective of children's health; provided that the guidelines shall be updated as needed.
(g) No later than July 1, 2005, the children's environmental health council shall publish a guidance document for use by state and county departments and agencies, public health agencies, and the University of Hawaii, to assess exposures and health risks at existing and proposed public and private school sites. The guidance document shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Appropriate child-specific routes of exposure unique to the school environment, in addition to routes contained in existing exposure assessment models;
(2) Appropriate and available child-specific numerical health effects guidance values; and
(3) Identification of uncertainties in the risk assessment guidance, and actions that should be taken to address those uncertainties.
(h) No later than July 1, 2005, and biennially thereafter, the children's environmental health council shall identify chemical contaminants commonly found at school sites and determined by the council to be of greatest concern based on criteria that identify child-specific exposures and child-specific physiological sensitivities. The council shall publish annually, provide to public and private school officials, and make available to the public, the numerical health guidance values for the five toxic air contaminants under subsection (e)."
SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.