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Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan Introduces "Clean California" Legislative Package to Eliminate Toxins from Everyday Products

AB 234, AB 267, and AB 363 will target toxic chemicals that are unnecessary, but are found in our everyday products

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA - Today, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan introduced a legislative package that will eliminate toxins from consumer products that affect children, pollinators, and the environment. The package includes three bills targeting toxic microplastics, neonicotinoids, and toxic fire retardants.

The first bill, AB 234: Microplastics Elimination Act, addresses the growing concern worldwide over the presence of microplastics found at all levels of our environment and their detrimental impact on human health. Microplastics, tiny fragments of synthetic or chemically-modified natural polymers, are found in a wide range of ordinary consumer products. These microplastics are not biodegradable and persist in the environment for many years without breaking down.  Studies have found that humans are unintentionally consuming about 1 credit card worth of microplastics per week, which can lead to a range of health issues.  Microplastics have been found everywhere -- in breast milk, children, Antarctic snow, and human lungs, which highlights the pervasive presence of these tiny particles in our environment and the potential health risks they pose.

"The presence of microplastics in our waterways and in our own bodies is an environmental emergency that demands immediate, decisive action,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. “It's time for California to take bold steps to protect our children, our pollinators, and our environment from the harmful effects of microplastics,"

The second bill, AB 363, the Pollinator Protection Act, builds on the Assemblymember’s previous work addressing the use of neonicotinoids. Studies have shown that these chemicals can have a detrimental impact on bees and other pollinators, as well as human health impacts - particularly for pregnant people and infants. This bill directs  the Department of Pesticide Regulation to review the impacts of neonicotinoids on pollinator and human health for non-agricultural uses and take appropriate action to protect both. The bill is co-sponsored by Environment California, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Neonicotinoids are the most used insecticides nationwide, and we’ve been waiting since 2009 for DPR to review the threats of the most concentrated uses—those happening right in everyone’s backyards,” said Lucas Rhoads, Staff Attorney at NRDC. “With mounting evidence of neonics’ harms to California’s pollinators and public health, Californians don’t have another fourteen years to spare, and a half-baked review won’t do. This bill ensures DPR will prioritize doing this critical job right and on time.”

The third bill, AB 267: the No Toxic Tents Act, eliminates cancerous and endocrine-disrupting chemicals from tents. Many small tents and children's recreational tents contain fire retardants that are known to be cancerous and endocrine disruptors. These chemicals are easily ingested, particularly by children. Studies have shown that exposure to these chemicals can lead to a variety of health problems, including cancer and hormonal imbalances.

"For the outdoor industry, we are enthusiastic about solving the issue for our tent manufacturers to no longer be required to include harmful and toxic chemicals in tents,” stated Lexie Gritlefeld, Director of California Outdoor Recreation Partnership. "We are grateful for Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan's strong leadership towards a cleaner and environmentally sustainable California."

"As a mother and a legislator, I believe it is our responsibility to protect the health and safety of our children and our environment. These bills are a step in the right direction towards creating a cleaner, healthier California for all," said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan.

The Clean California legislative package is pending referral will be considered by the California State Assembly in the coming months.