statesealPlease find a session roundup of environmental health bills in Maryland below. The first two, infant formula containers and cadmium in children’s jewelry, are the bills that passed.

Public Health – Containers of Infant Formula Manufactured with Bisphenol A – Prohibition– HB 4(Hubbard)/SB 151 (Frosh)

BPA is linked by hundreds of scientific studies to cancer, birth defects, developmental problems and other adverse health effects. This bill bans the use of the toxic chemical bisphenol A in infant formula containers, starting in 2014. The bill also requires the state (Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC) cease to purchase formula in containers made with BPA. House Bill 4 passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 137-0 and SB 151 Senate by a vote of 46-0.

Health – Cadmium in Children’s Jewelry – Prohibition – HB 145 (Hubbard)

Cadmium is a heavy metal and a known carcinogen, as well as a developmental and reproductive toxin that can be found children’s jewelry. HB 145 bans the sale, manufacture, or distribution in Maryland of children’s jewelry containing cadmium. The bill passed unanimously out of both chambers.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Maryland – Toxic Chemical Identification and Reduction – HB 759 (Waldstreicher) / SB 638 (Benson)

There are over 1,400 chemicals in use that are linked to cancer, reproductive, or developmental disorders, and tens of thousands more in use that have not been tested for safety. This bill requires Maryland Department of the Environment create and maintain a comprehensive list of chemicals of concern known to cause cancer, reproductive or developmental harm, neurotoxicity, hormone disruption, or which are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic. This bill will educate consumers about chemicals of concern by publishing them online, making them available for parents, schools, and businesses. The act will empower MDE to replace the worst chemicals with safe, affordable alternatives. The bill did not receive a vote in either chamber.

Agriculture – Pesticides – Use, Release, Sale, and Purchase Reporting – HB 660 (Frush)/ SB 785 (Montgomery)

Scientists regularly find dozens of pesticides in people. A growing body of evidence points toward a link between pesticides and learning and developmental disorders, miscarriage, birth defects, and other disorders. This bill establishes a centralized reporting system—for both certified applicators’ pesticide use and dealers’ purchase and sales of restricted use pesticides—under Maryland Department of Agriculture for access by government agencies, scientists, and the public.

Environment – Reducing Lead Risk in Housing – Lead Paint Dust Testing – HB 1033 (Oaks)/SB 840 (Gladden)

This bill safeguards the health of children living in older housing stock by requiring all landlords to conduct lead dust testing before a new tenant moves in. The bill strengthens current law which permits landlords to simply do a visual inspection for lead hazards instead of actual lead testing.

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Workgroup on Cancer Clusters and Environmental Causes of Cancer – SB 574 (Muse, Raskin, and Benson)

Requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with the Maryland Department of the Environment, to convene a workgroup to examine issues including research processes, communication, research by academic institutions, and the need for annual reports relating to the investigation of potential cancer clusters in the State and potential environmental causes of cancer; requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to report findings on or before December 1, 2011; etc.

Environment – Permitting Process – Environmental Justice Review – SB 752 (Benson, Frosh, Madaleno, Montgomery, and Ramirez)

Requiring the Department of the Environment, in consultation with the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to develop maps that identify environmentally stressed communities in the State; requiring an Environmental Justice Review as a condition of issuing or renewing specified permits; etc

County Boards of Education-Green Product Cleaning Supplies — HB 650

Requiring a county board of education to adopt specified written policies relating to the procurement of green product cleaning supplies subject to specified exceptions; requiring specified county boards to provide specified notice to the State Department of Education under specified circumstances; etc.

Agriculture – Pesticides – Regulation of Atrazine Study — SB 582 (Montgomery)/HB 659 (Frush)

Requiring the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with specified stakeholders, to study the feasibility of prohibiting the use, distribution, or sale of atrazine in the State, including a pesticide that contains atrazine; requiring the Department to report its findings to the Governor and committees of the General Assembly by December 15, 2011; etc. The House version would have prohibited the use, distribution, or sale of atrazine, including a pesticide that contains atrazine, in the State.

Agriculture – Commercial Feed – Arsenic Prohibition – SB 417 (Pinsky)/HB 754 (Hucker)

Prohibiting a person from using, selling, or distributing commercial feed intended for use as poultry feed that contains roxarsone or any other additive that contains arsenic.

Reform of the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 – HJ 3 (Hubbard)

Expressing support for the reform of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.