Senator PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
Prohibits sale, offer for sale, or distribution of infant products containing bisphenol A.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning infant products 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 products designed for infants and children, is an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptor used in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics; that it has been shown to have hormone disrupting effects leading to developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune system health issues; and that the chemical is found to leach out of the products in which it is used.
The Legislature further finds and declares that bisphenol A and other chemical phthalates can have adverse effects on health and there is substantial evidence that virtually everyone carries some level of phthalates in their body; and that reusable plastic storage containers and toys, such as baby bottles and polycarbonate plastic thermoses, can leach bisphenol A, leading to restriction of their use in products used by babies and children daily.
The Legislature also finds and declares that in a recently published scientific study, levels of bisphenol A were found in teething toys, even those labeled “BPA-free” or “non-toxic,” and that those teething toys, when soaked in water to simulate the toy in the mouth of a baby, leached bisphenol A along with a range of other harmful chemicals from almost every product tested. The Legislature therefore determines that bisphenol A is a hazardous substance and it is in the public interest to prohibit the sale of all products used by infants that are made with or composed in whole or in part of bisphenol A.
2. Commencing January 1, 2018, no person may sell, offer for sale, or distribute for sale in the State any infant product made with, or composed in whole or in part of, bisphenol A.
As used in this section “infant product” means a product, including a toy, teething ring, or play equipment, that is designed or intended solely or primarily for the care of, or use by, a child under three years of age.
3. A retailer may apply to the Department of Health 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, 2018, 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 by the Department of Health, or any local governmental entity designated by the department, 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 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, 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.
This bill would prohibit the sale, offer for sale, or distribution for sale in the State of any infant product made with, or composed in whole or in part of, bisphenol A.
Bisphenol A is an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptor used in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics. It has been shown to have hormone disrupting effects leading to developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune system health issues and is found to leach out of the products in which it is used. A recent scientific study examined teething rings, including those labeled “BPA-free” or “nontoxic” by placing the toys in water for an hour, and found that bisphenol A was present in almost every product and leached out into the water from most of the teethers.