ASSEMBLY, No. 2112

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 25, 2008

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblywoman LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman DAVID W. WOLFE

District 10 (Monmouth and Ocean)

Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Biondi and Diegnan

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits sale of food and beverage packaging and containers made with bisphenol A.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning food and beverage packaging and containers made with bisphenol A and supplementing Title 24 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The Legislature finds and declares that bisphenol A, which is found in many food and drink packaging applications, is an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptor chemical used in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics; that it has been shown to have hormone disrupting effects; and that the resins are commonly used as lacquers to coat metal products such as food cans, bottles, bottle tops, and water supply pipes and in many other commodities, including products used by young children. 

     The Legislature further finds and declares that high levels of bisphenol A and other chemical phthalates can have adverse effects on people and there is substantial evidence that virtually everyone carries some level of phthalates in their body; and that reusable plastic storage containers, such as baby bottles or polycarbonate plastic thermoses, can leach bisphenol A, and each time they are washed and reused, they are at risk of becoming scratched, leading them to degrade further and leach more chemicals. 

     The Legislature also finds and declares that in 2007, a panel of scientists studying the effects of bisphenol A at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, within the National Institutes of Health in the United States Department of Health and Human Services, found their greatest concern about the hazards of exposure to bisphenol A was the possible neural and behavioral effects caused by bisphenol A exposure in utero, and expressed some concern as well that the chemical could cause problems in developing fetuses and young children. 

     The Legislature therefore determines that bisphenol A is a hazardous substance and it is in the public interest to prohibit the sale of food and beverage packaging and storage containers that are made with or composed of bisphenol A.

 

     2.    a.   On or after January 1, 2010, no person may sell, offer for sale, or distribute for sale in the State food or beverages in a package or container made with or composed of bisphenol A.

     b.    On or after January 1, 2010, no person may sell, offer for sale, or distribute for sale in the State a food or beverage storage container made with or composed of bisphenol A.

     As used in this subsection, “food or beverage storage container” means any refillable or reusable plastic container for food or beverages, which may be used for the reheating or storage of that commodity, and includes but is not limited to thermoses, baby bottles, coolers, and resealable containers.

     3.    A retailer may apply to the Department of Health and Senior Services for a waiver from the requirements of section 2 of this act, based on economic hardship, to allow the sale of existing stock only for a period of up to six months beyond January 1, 2010, as determined by the department.

 

     4.    a.   A person who violates this act shall be subject to a penalty of not less than $250 nor more than $500 for each offense, to be collected in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).  The municipal court and the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of proceedings for the enforcement of the penalty provided by this section.

     If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues constitutes an additional, separate, and distinct offense.

     b.    The Department of Health and Senior Services may institute a civil action for injunctive relief to enforce this act and to prohibit and prevent a violation of this act, and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner.

 

     5.    The Department of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, shall adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations as are necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

     6. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would prohibit any food or beverages in a package or container and any food or beverage storage container made with or composed of bisphenol A (BPA) to be sold, offered for sale, or distributed for sale in the State on or after January 1, 2010.

     A person who violates the provisions of this bill would be subject to a penalty of not less than $250 nor more than $500 for each offense, and each day during which it continues would constitute an additional, separate, and distinct offense.  A retailer would be able to apply to the Department of Health and Senior Services for a waiver, based on economic hardship, to allow for the sale of existing stock only for a period of up to six months beyond January 1, 2010.

     BPA is a main ingredient in hard polycarbonate plastics used in many food and drink packaging applications and has been shown to have hormone disrupting effects.  BPA is an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptor chemical used in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics, and the resins are commonly used as lacquers to coat metal products such as food cans and bottles and in many other commodities, including products used by young children. 

     High levels of BPA and other chemical phthalates can have adverse effects on people, and there is substantial evidence that virtually everyone carries some level of phthalates in their body.  Reusable plastic storage containers, such as baby bottles or other polycarbonate plastic thermoses, can leach BPA, and each time they are washed and reused, they are at risk of becoming scratched, leading them to degrade and leach more chemicals. 

     In 2007, a panel of scientists studying the effects of BPA at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found their greatest concern about the hazards of exposure to BPA was the possible neural and behavioral effects caused by BPA exposure in utero.  They also expressed some concern that the chemical could cause problems in developing fetuses and young children.