The children’s foam nap mats contain a flame retardant linked to cancer. Spray foam insulation commonly used to weatherize homes can contain unreacted di-isocyanates. Use of the chemical is one of the leading causes of occupational asthma in the country. Paint strippers contain methylene chloride. Dr. Meredith Williams with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control says when that chemical is metabolized, it becomes carbon monoxide.
“And then it becomes an acute neurotoxin and in fact, between the year 2000 and 2011 there were 14 deaths in the US related to one profession that uses this extensively and that’s bathtub refinishers,” says Williams.
All the products are on the shelves now and come with warning labels. But California regulators are asking manufacturers to figure out how to make these products safer or limit their use.
“We could ask for more labeling, we could restrict its use to very specific applications," she says. "We could decide that there is not enough known about the chemical and ask the manufacturers to fund additional research.”
Pamela Williams with the California Retailers Association says the children’s nap mats with the flame retardant are practically gone from the market anyway. So the announcement of the targeted products may not change what’s on the shelf.
“That will be up to the store to decide even though we can sell it, do we want to continue because we do have alternatives to offer,”says Williams.
This fall DTSC plans to release a much more comprehensive list of products that it may regulate within the next three years.
California depends on gas tax revenues to maintain its roads. But that revenue is declining. Now the state is looking for volunteers to try out a new funding method, but volunteering could cost you money.
California lawmakers are considering imposing limits on short-term online rental services like Airbnb. A Senate committee took up the issue today.
California Governor Jerry Brown is calling on local water agencies to adjust their pricing structures as a way to promote conservation. But a state court ruling issued today could undermine those efforts.
California’s system of water rights is coming under scrutiny as the state’s drought gets worse. Today Governor Jerry Brown indicated there may be some changes coming to the century-old system.
Governor Jerry Brown has declined to say whether he supports a bill that would extend Medi-Cal to some undocumented immigrants in California.