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Santa Monica Lawmaker's Bills to Ban Rat Poisons, Toxic Flame Retardant Chemicals Pass Key Committee
By Jorge Casuso
April 12, 2018 -- Two bills sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom to further tackle environmental threats passed a key committee this week.
AB 2422 -- which would make California the first state to ban certain “rat poisons” that pose a "rampant threat" to pets and wildlife -- passed the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee late Tuesday.
The Committee also approved AB 2998, a measure to protect Californians from toxic flame retardant chemicals, on a 5-2 vote.
The bill banning "rodenticides" would expand Bloom's 2014 ban on their use in wildlife areas and parks and strengthen enforcement efforts by the state to limit their use to licensed pest control applicators, Bloom said.
“After many years of studying the impacts of these chemicals, we know that these poisons pose a serious threat to our public health and to wildlife,” the former Santa Monica mayor said in a statement.
“Earlier efforts to limit their use have done little to stem the threat so our only recourse is an immediate ban.”
The California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found rodenticide residues in 27 species of birds and 17 species of mammals, including some endangered species such as the Northern Spotted Owl, Bloom's office said.
Rodenticides pose a "serious public health threat" to children and pets, with the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reporting 50,696 dog poisonings in 2014 due to rodenticides.
The other bill passed by the committee prohibits the sale of household products -- including fabrics, furniture, and children’s products -- that contain flame retardant chemicals.
Children and firefighters are at particularly high risk of exposure to the chemicals, which have been linked to lower birth weight, reduced IQ and impaired neurological development in children, Bloom said.
“For too long, we have allowed flame retardant chemicals to poison our children and fill the lungs of firefighters with carcinogenic toxins,” Bloom said.
“This year, we say ‘enough,’" he said. "It’s time to put the safety of Californians first.”
Earlier this year, Bloom introduced a bill that requires warning labels on synthetic fabrics that shed tiny fibers when washed ("Santa Monica Lawmaker Tackles Microfibers," February 15, 2018).
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