Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/09/2018 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 355(RES) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
          HB 27-HIGH-RISK CHEMICALS FOR CHILD EXPOSURE                                                                      
1:04:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 27, "An Act relating to  chemicals that are of                                                               
high  concern for  children and  to the  manufacture and  sale of                                                               
products containing  certain flame retardant  chemicals; relating                                                               
to an interstate chemicals clearinghouse;  adding an unlawful act                                                               
to  the Alaska  Unfair  Trade Practices  and Consumer  Protection                                                               
Act; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
1:05:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON   moved  to  adopt  the   proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB  27,  labeled  30-LS0264\D,  Bannister,                                                               
3/5/18, as the working draft.                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR TARR objected for discussion.                                                                                          
[Co-Chair Tarr passed the gavel to Co-Chair Josephson.]                                                                         
1:05:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR, as sponsor of  HB 27, stated that the title,                                                               
"Toxic Free Children's Act," would  address some of the chemicals                                                               
used  in our  environment.   She presented  a PowerPoint,  titled                                                               
"Toxic  Free  Children's   Act."    She  referred   to  slide  1,                                                               
"Regulation  of  Chemicals in  Our  Environment,"  which read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
   square4 Federal Laws                                                                                                         
  square4 Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act                                                                   
        (passed in 1910, pesticides)                                                                                            
    square4 Federal food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (passed in                                                                     
        1938, drugs, cosmetics, foods, food additives)                                                                          
     square4 Toxics Substances Control Act (passed in 1976)                                                                     
          square4 Updated in 2016 with Frank Lautenberg Chemical                                                                
             Safety for the 21st Century Act                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR spoke  to the weaknesses of  the laws, noting                                                               
the first two laws listed  passed in 1910 and 1938, respectively.                                                               
She acknowledged  these federal laws  were quite old.   She noted                                                               
the final law, the Toxic  Substances Control Act, which passed in                                                               
1976, was just updated in 2016.                                                                                                 
1:07:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR  shared   some  history   of  environmental                                                               
pollution, such  as when the  Cuyahoga River [in Ohio]  caught on                                                               
fire on June  22, 1969.  She quoted an  old saying, "The solution                                                               
to  pollution  is dilution."    Frequently,  chemicals were  just                                                               
dumped into water and air.  Some  people may recall an image of a                                                               
sewage  pipe  that  directly  emptied into  a  waterbody.    That                                                               
disposal method was commonly used to handle human waste.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  commented that  between 1938 and  1976, many                                                               
chemicals  were  developed  to  be   used  for  warfare.    These                                                               
chemicals, organophosphates and  organochlorines, were repurposed                                                               
in  insecticides, food  production  and  personal care  products.                                                               
She characterized  this as a  "chemical revolution,"  with little                                                               
understanding, oversight or  testing.  She pointed  out the Toxic                                                               
Substances  Control Act  happened about  the same  time that  the                                                               
polluted Cuyahoga River caught fire.   The beginnings of the Ohio                                                               
Environmental   Protection   Act   predated  the   national   EPA                                                               
[Environmental Protection Act] of 1970.                                                                                         
1:09:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  directed attention  to slide  2, "Regulation                                                               
of  Chemicals   in  Our  Environment,"  which   read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
   square4 Federal Laws                                                                                                         
        square4 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008                                                                 
           square4 Use children as the benchmark for safety                                                                     
           square4 Included the Lead Free Toys Act                                                                              
           square4 Status  "CPSC has and is continuing to implement                                                             
               regulations based on CPSIA."                                                                                     
1:11:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  turned to  slide  3,  "Frank R.  Lautenberg                                                               
Chemical Safety  for the  21st Century  Act," which  consisted of                                                               
two tables.   The first table, "TSCA as reformed  by the Frank R.                                                               
Lautenberg Chemical  Safety for  the 21st  Century Act,"  and the                                                               
second table, "TSCA pre-reform, which read as follows:                                                                          
      TSCA as reformed by TSCA as reformed by the Frank R.                                                                    
     Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act                                                                      
      Mandatory duty on EPA to evaluate existing chemicals                                                                      
     with clear and enforceable deadlines                                                                                       
         Chemicals assessed against a risk-based safety                                                                         
      Unreasonable risks identified in the risk evaluation                                                                      
     must be eliminated                                                                                                         
     Expanded authority to more quickly require development                                                                     
     of chemical information when needed                                                                                        
     TSCA pre-reform                                                                                                          
     No duty to review, no deadlines for action                                                                                 
     Risk-benefit balancing standard                                                                                            
        Significant risks might not be addressed due to                                                                         
     cost/benefit balancing and no mandate to act                                                                               
         Testing on existing chemicals required lengthy                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE TARR stated that  this slide provided a comparison                                                               
of the TSCA  and TSCA pre-reform laws.  She  contrasted the first                                                               
item on  the two  tables, "No  duty to  review, no  deadlines for                                                               
actions" with  the reformed TSCA requirement,  "Mandatory duty on                                                               
EPA  to evaluate  existing chemicals  with clear  and enforceable                                                               
deadlines."   The latter rationale  explained why  chemicals have                                                               
been in  use in our  environment for decades without  being fully                                                               
assessed for the long-term health and environmental impacts.                                                                    
1:11:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  gave an example, noting  TSCA pre-reform was                                                               
so weak  that asbestos, a  known carcinogen, could not  be banned                                                               
under the law.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR  reviewed   the  second   item,  "Chemicals                                                               
assessed against a risk-based safety  standard" and contrasted it                                                               
with  a "Risk-benefit  balancing standard,"  which illustrated  a                                                               
dramatic  change  in  evaluating   chemicals  in  the  regulatory                                                               
context.   The risk-benefit award  reviewed risk by  stating that                                                               
one in 100,000  people might be impacted and  concluded that risk                                                               
was an acceptable  one.  She said, "You might  be that one person                                                               
in 100,000 that gets cancer."   However, she did not find that to                                                               
be a fully-satisfactory  regulatory risk, since she  did not want                                                               
to be  the one person  to get cancer.   She compared that  to the                                                               
"chemicals assessed against a  risk-based safety standard," which                                                               
was definitely an  improvement.  Many people wanted to  move to a                                                               
"precautionary principle."   Under  this principle,  people would                                                               
not introduce chemicals into the  environment until certainty was                                                               
obtained that the  chemicals would not pose  adverse human health                                                               
effects  or  long-term  environmental   impacts.    She  directed                                                               
attention to the last bullet,  which compared "Expanded authority                                                               
to more quickly require development  of chemical information when                                                               
needed,"  to  the  TSCA  pre-reform  standard  that  "Testing  on                                                               
existing chemicals required lengthy  rulemaking."  She emphasized                                                               
this demonstrated  the reason this  law was  so weak in  terms of                                                               
responding to new safety information.                                                                                           
1:13:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  directed attention to slide  4, "The Point,"                                                               
stating  much needs  to be  done and  much needs  to be  learned.                                                               
People often  talk in  absolutes.   She related  that there  is a                                                               
difference  between  causation  and  correlation.   In  a  policy                                                               
context, this  often meant  that people  seek an  exact causation                                                               
relationship; for  example, exposure to  chemical "A" leads  to a                                                               
specific health problem associated with  it.  She pointed out one                                                               
issue,  such  that  scientists  do  not  test  on  humans.    She                                                               
emphasized that  will not  change.  She  offered her  belief that                                                               
scientists do not knowingly expose  humans to potentially harmful                                                               
chemicals  for  the purposes  of  science.   Instead,  scientists                                                               
performed lab  studies on  lower organisms.   This meant  that it                                                               
could  take  longer to  learn  about  the human  health  impacts.                                                               
Certainly, testing would  not be done on  developing fetuses, she                                                               
opined.   Instead, scientists performed  studies on  breast blood                                                               
samples to learn  the effects of chemicals  on developing fetuses                                                               
and milk  samples were taken  to test  breast milk to  assess any                                                               
impacts on infants.                                                                                                             
1:14:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR   reminded  members  that   scientists  just                                                               
completed  the  Human  Genome Project  in  2003,  which  provided                                                               
significant  breakthroughs in  understanding human  health.   She                                                               
characterized  the  project  as  a reference  library  for  human                                                               
health  conditions.    She  emphasized  the  importance  to  have                                                               
references  as  society  works  to  understand  the  relationship                                                               
between  exposure  to  chemicals  and  genetics.    For  example,                                                               
doctors  can now  say  that  some breast  cancers  are linked  to                                                               
environmental  exposures and  some link  to genetic  markers, she                                                               
said.  The  Human Genome Project has provided the  resource to do                                                               
so; however, keep in mind how recent this discovery was made.                                                                   
1:15:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR  said   scientists  and   researchers  have                                                               
knowledge  today that  can  be acted  on,  but research  provides                                                               
ongoing new information.   She reported that even  very low level                                                               
exposure can result  in adverse health effects.   The results can                                                               
be  varied   since  each  person   has  different   genetics  and                                                               
lifestyles,  including  food  and  diet.    She  pointed  out  in                                                               
isolated  instances causation  relationships  can be  determined,                                                               
such as  that farm  workers in  California's Central  Valley were                                                               
exposed to high  levels of pesticide and  suffered adverse health                                                               
effects.  She  highlighted that people often rely  on the federal                                                               
government to  regulate chemicals and believe  these products are                                                               
safe to  use, but they should  not.  She emphasized  that so much                                                               
more needs to be done.                                                                                                          
1:16:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  directed  attention  to  slide  5,  "Health                                                               
Concerns Due  to Exposure  to Chemicals,"  which read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
        square4 Cancer                                                                                                          
        square4 Reproductive Health disorders                                                                                   
        square4 Developmental delays or cognitive impairment                                                                    
        square4 Birth defects                                                                                                   
        square4 Endocrine disruption                                                                                            
        square4 Respiratory disorders                                                                                           
        square4 Neurodevelopmental disorders                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR said  the list  on slide  5 identified  some                                                               
adverse  health impacts  linked to  exposure to  chemicals.   She                                                               
offered to  discuss some of  the health problems  associated with                                                               
exposure to chemicals,  for example, the leading  cause of cancer                                                               
for firefighters was exposure  to [polybrominated diphenyl ethers                                                               
or] PBDE  flame retardants.   She reviewed the list,  noting that                                                               
it  was important  to  be concerned  about  chemicals humans  are                                                               
exposed to in their environment.                                                                                                
1:17:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  directed attention to  slide 6, "3  Ways for                                                               
Exposure,"  noting humans  become exposed  to chemicals  in three                                                               
main ways                                                                                                                       
        square4 Absorption                                                                                                      
            square4 Personal Care Products (directly to skin)                                                                   
        square4 Inhalation                                                                                                      
         square4 Flame Retardants (in dust and burning)                                                                         
        square4 Eating                                                                                                          
            square4 Pesticides on fruits and vegetables, in milk                                                                
          and meat                                                                                                              
1:18:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  directed  attention   to  slide  7,  "Flame                                                               
Retardants (PBDEs)," which read  as follows [original punctuation                                                               
        square4 Used in children's   products,    furniture,                                                                    
          electronics, plastics, building materials, motor                                                                      
          vehicles, airplanes, and textiles                                                                                     
   square4 Exposure is from ingestion of food and inhalation                                                                    
        square4 Chemical composition: Polybrominated diphenyl                                                                   
             square4 Structurally similar to PCBs                                                                               
             square4 Family of chemicals can make over 200 related                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE TARR said that PBDEs  were widely used in personal                                                               
care  products  and   she  would  like  to   discuss  the  policy                                                               
alternatives  can  be  taken  to address  these  concerns.    She                                                               
reported   that   PBDEs   are  structurally   similar   to   PCBs                                                               
[polychlorinated biphenyl],  noting the committee  has previously                                                               
discussed abandoned WWII  sites in Alaska and PCB  exposure.  She                                                               
emphasized  that   these  chemicals   should  be   thought  about                                                               
structurally as  a family of  chemicals in terms of  their impact                                                               
on human health.                                                                                                                
1:19:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  directed  attention   to  slide  8,  "Flame                                                               
Retardants (PBDEs),"                                                                                                            
        square4 Chemicals bioaccumulate in blood, breast milk,                                                                  
          and fat tissues                                                                                                       
        square4 Health impacts include    thyroid    hormone                                                                    
          disruption,   permanent    learning   and   memory                                                                    
          impairment, behavioral changes, and more                                                                              
        square4 Leading cause of cancer in Firefighters                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE TARR defined bioaccumulate  to mean that with each                                                               
exposure chemicals add  up or accumulate over  time; for example,                                                               
animals  at the  top  of  the food  chain  have  the most  highly                                                               
concentrated  levels of  chemicals.   This  has implications  for                                                               
those who rely on subsistence food sources, she said.                                                                           
1:20:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR directed  attention to  slide 9,  "Why Flame                                                               
Retardants?"    This slide  depicted  an  historical timeline  of                                                               
flame retardants  used in household  products from 1975  to 2016.                                                               
She  directed  attention  to  1975,   when  California  passed  a                                                               
furniture flammability standard  that led furniture manufacturers                                                               
to  use  large  amounts  of flame  retardant  chemicals  in  foam                                                               
cushioning sold  throughout the United  States.   She highlighted                                                               
that  the  timeline  depicted  recent   happenings  in  terms  of                                                               
scientific understanding.                                                                                                       
1:20:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  explained  the rationale  for  using  flame                                                               
retardants was  to address increasing  numbers of home  fires due                                                               
to cigarette use that unextinguished  cigarettes ignited sofas or                                                               
beds.   However, since cigarette  manufacturers have  changed how                                                               
cigarettes  are  made and  while  cigarettes  are not  completely                                                               
extinguishable,  they do  not tend  to cause  the types  of fires                                                               
that  occurred in  1975.   She pointed  out that  statistics have                                                               
shown the  number of residential  fires caused by  cigarettes has                                                               
gone down significantly.   It has raised the  question of whether                                                               
these chemicals are really necessary, she said.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR reported  that this  slide was  developed by                                                               
the Environmental Working Group  (EWG), a non-profit organization                                                               
that  does research  in this  area.   In 2016,  the EWG  detected                                                               
carcinogenic PBDE replacements in  Californian children at levels                                                               
15 times  higher than those of  their moms.  As  consumers become                                                               
aware  of the  increased risks,  the demand  to remove  chemicals                                                               
from products has increased, she said.                                                                                          
1:22:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR directed  attention to slide 10,  "How are We                                                               
Exposed?"   The slide depicted  a mom and  baby in a  living room                                                               
surrounded  by products  containing  flame retardants,  including                                                               
upholstered  furniture,  plastic  encasing  for  electronics  and                                                               
carpet  padding   with  recycled  foam.     She  emphasized  that                                                               
contaminated  dust  was problematic  in  Alaska  since homes  are                                                               
closed  up  for  extended  periods  of  time  during  long,  cold                                                               
winters.  This  could result in less air flow  and a higher level                                                               
of dust accumulation  in homes.  This tends to  pose problems for                                                               
babies  and toddlers  since they  touch and  put everything  into                                                               
their mouths, she said.                                                                                                         
1:23:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  directed attention to slide  11, "Children's                                                               
Exposure is  a Major Concern,"  and related children  are exposed                                                               
to flame  retardants in  foam products  in mattresses,  nap mats,                                                               
changing pads, foam insulation, and nursing pillows.                                                                            
1:23:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  directed attention  to  slides  12 and  13,                                                               
"Endocrine  System &  Endocrine  Disruption."   She  said it  was                                                               
upsetting  to her  to  learn that  firefighters  who spend  their                                                               
careers in lifesaving work were  subject to shorter lifespans due                                                               
to  chemical exposure.     She  directed attention  to the  slide                                                               
showing a diagram  of the endocrine system,  which represents the                                                               
hormone system.   She  characterized the  endocrine system  as an                                                               
on-demand system since  hormones are produced by  the system when                                                               
the body needs them.                                                                                                            
1:24:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR described the  pituitary gland as the control                                                               
center, informing  other glands  to make  hormones needed  by the                                                               
body.  She  said during endocrine disruptions  those messages are                                                               
not delivered.   She  explained the  process, such  that hormones                                                               
provide  a  key that  fits  into  a  cell  receptor, but  only  a                                                               
specific hormone should  fit into a specific  receptor.  However,                                                               
with  endocrine disrupting  chemicals,  the  chemicals mimic  the                                                               
ones produced  by the body and  interfere by taking the  place of                                                               
the  natural hormone.    This could  lead  to underproduction  or                                                               
overproduction  of hormones,  or  it could  lead  to the  hormone                                                               
being released at the wrong time, she said.                                                                                     
1:25:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR directed  attention  to the  picture on  the                                                               
righthand  side  of  the  slide   that  depicted  both  a  normal                                                               
endocrine system response and a  chemically-induced mimic of one.                                                               
She said  chemicals that fit in  where they do not  belong in our                                                               
bodies  cause  bad health  outcomes.    She related  examples  of                                                               
health   issues,   including   thyroid-related   disorders   that                                                               
interfere with metabolism.                                                                                                      
1:27:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  directed  attention to  slide  14,  "Policy                                                               
Solutions."  She  explained that HB 27 would restrict  the use of                                                               
known  chemicals  of  concern,  such  as  PBDEs  that  have  been                                                               
substantiated  to  cause harm.    The  bill would  also  restrict                                                               
possible   substitutes   since   these   chemicals   might   pose                                                               
substantial  risks, as  well.    She stated  that  the family  of                                                               
chemicals can make  over 200 related chemicals  which could cause                                                               
the  same problems.   The  bill  also has  provisions related  to                                                               
conducting  research  in Alaska.    Some  work has  already  been                                                               
conducted  by testing  breast milk  of Alaska  Native women.   In                                                               
addition, Canada  has conducted  some research  in the  far north                                                               
regions of the Northwest Territories.   The Canadian study showed                                                               
incidences of  chemicals not  found in the  region, ones  used in                                                               
other  countries that  were transported  to Canada  via water  or                                                               
wind.   She  said  this was  similar  to the  way  acid rain  was                                                               
transmitted by  wind.   This bill  would also  call on  Alaska to                                                               
collaborate with other  states to gain knowledge  from their work                                                               
since it is costly to conduct health research.                                                                                  
1:29:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked if  it was  safe to  say she  was not                                                               
satisfied   with  the   protections  provided   by  the   federal                                                               
government.   He expressed concern  that the program  proposed in                                                               
HB  27  would  be  expensive  to implement.    He  said  reviewed                                                               
articles  in  Consumer  Reports and  the  reporting  acknowledged                                                               
issues with  fire retardants but  recognized that with  their use                                                               
fewer children suffered burns.   He asked the reason to implement                                                               
this now  and why Alaska should  be the state to  become involved                                                               
in restricting flame retardants in children's clothing.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR,  in  response,  said that  Alaska  was  not                                                               
alone.  She  reported that 30 other states  were also considering                                                               
similar  legislation.   She said  people  have been  dissatisfied                                                               
with the length  of time it has taken to  get reforms through the                                                               
federal  government.    Some  regulations date  back  to  over  a                                                               
hundred years ago and need updating  since so much has changed in                                                               
terms of  the information  on developmental  health and  with the                                                               
completion of  the Human  Genome Project.   Significant  gains in                                                               
human  health knowledge  has occurred  in the  last 10-15  years.                                                               
She expressed  concern that some chemicals  were grandfathered in                                                               
without  testing  for  adverse   human  health  or  environmental                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  viewed the bill as  developing a partnership                                                               
so work  performed at the  state level  could be shared  with the                                                               
federal government.   She said by  working collaboratively Alaska                                                               
could get the important health information that it needs.                                                                       
1:32:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  offered her  belief  that  this bill  could                                                               
offer an opportunity  for new product development  using the kind                                                               
of research  and ingenuity that  it took to develop  new products                                                               
initially.   She  argued that  safer alternatives  exist for  the                                                               
current  flame   retardants  and   it  was   just  a   matter  of                                                               
transitioning  into the  safer ones.   Although  it has  not been                                                               
possible to  make significant gains  in the  regulatory framework                                                               
on  BPA  or bisphenol  A,  known  to  have adverse  human  health                                                               
effects,  it would  currently be  difficult to  find any  plastic                                                               
bottles containing BPA.   She attributed this  to public pressure                                                               
to  remove the  harmful chemical  from products  the used  daily.                                                               
She remarked that  BPAs were contained in baby  bottles and other                                                               
products small  children used.   As  the public  gained awareness                                                               
through  blogs and  other information,  it has  affected consumer                                                               
behavior  and companies  responded.   Local,  state, and  federal                                                               
governments, researchers and consumers  must all work together to                                                               
figure out how to move forward, she said.                                                                                       
1:33:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH   said  he  has  four   grade  school  aged                                                               
grandchildren  who often  sleep over.   He  remarked that  he was                                                               
very comfortable  to have them  in their fire  retardant pajamas.                                                               
He looked  forward to learning more  but it seemed as  though the                                                               
issue  was flame  retardant versus  adverse  consequences and  it                                                               
seemed reasonable to have these products in our lives.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE TARR pointed out  that flame retardants were taken                                                               
out  of pajamas  because  they  were found  to  be dangerous  for                                                               
children;  however, these  PBDEs are  used in  other products  in                                                               
homes.   She said a  wool rug  was naturally fire  resistant, but                                                               
consumers  could  choose to  use  synthetic  fibers that  require                                                               
flame retardants.   In addition, consumers could  be more careful                                                               
with cigarettes and candles to reduce fire danger.                                                                              
1:35:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  asked whether the legal  analysis was similar                                                               
to the  GMO [genetically modified]  labeling issue.   He referred                                                               
to Section  2, to the  requirement that manufacturers  must label                                                               
items contain  chemical flame retardants.   He asked  for further                                                               
clarification on whether that was possible.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  responded  that   the  state  can  regulate                                                               
labeling.   She  related  that some  interstate commerce  clauses                                                               
indicate what chemicals  can be used, but the  state can regulate                                                               
what products can  be sold and whether those products  need to be                                                               
1:36:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH   asked  if  the  other   30  states  were                                                               
considering  action.    He asked  whether  any  states  currently                                                               
restrict flame retardant chemicals.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR answered  yes; that  Rhode Island  was among                                                               
several.    She offered  to  provide  a  list  of states  to  the                                                               
committee that  have passed  similar laws.   She said  that Rhode                                                               
Island, like Alaska,  was trying to address a  class of chemicals                                                               
rather than  list banned chemicals,  because substitutions  are a                                                               
big issue.                                                                                                                      
1:37:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH asked  whether  the  committee would  hear                                                               
testimony that provides more causative relationships.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  responded yes.   She pointed to  the handout                                                               
in members' packets from Safer  States that discusses toxic flame                                                               
retardants.  She referred to a  map in the handout.  She reported                                                               
that 22  current policies exist in  14 states and 13  states have                                                               
adopted 33 policies.                                                                                                            
1:38:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  related  his understanding  of  considerable                                                               
interest and support from Western  Alaska.  He reported hearing a                                                               
"lunch  and   learn"  yesterday  about  the   ocean  pathways  of                                                               
distribution and the  impacts of chemicals left behind  by the US                                                               
Department of  Defense (DOD).   He noted that the  communities of                                                               
Savoonga  and  Elim  and  areas  of  the  Seward  Peninsula  have                                                               
expressed concern about chemicals.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR remarked  that the  phenomenon of  chemicals                                                               
traveling  to   the  Arctic   was  often   referred  to   as  the                                                               
"grasshopper"  effect  due to  the  amplification  of effects  of                                                               
colder  temperatures.   She highlighted  that  research has  been                                                               
done on  St. Lawrence Island  and other places with  abandoned US                                                               
DOD sites that  have high rates of cancer in  a small population,                                                               
infertility  and  miscarriages  or abnormalities  in  subsistence                                                               
foods.    Hunters  have noticed  changes  in  subsistence  animal                                                               
organs.    She  characterized  these observations  and  the  oral                                                               
tradition as important and powerful.                                                                                            
1:41:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND shared an  anecdote of firefighter deaths                                                               
in  Anchorage.     These  firefighters  died   from  exposure  to                                                               
chemicals in  their work.   She was glad to  hear that HB  27 was                                                               
targeting chemicals that impact firefighters.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   DRUMMOND   related    her   understanding   that                                                               
bioaccumulation occurred in blood,  breast milk, and fat tissues.                                                               
She asked  whether these  substances can be  reduced or  if there                                                               
was any way to clear them out of the system.                                                                                    
1:42:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR, in  response, said  that metabolism  allows                                                               
chemicals to  be released.   She pointed out that  whaling occurs                                                               
in  some  rural  communities  and  bioaccumulation  of  chemicals                                                               
occurred in whale fat being eaten  since whales are at top of the                                                               
food chain.   Each  point along the  food chain  concentrates the                                                               
bioaccumulation, she said.                                                                                                      
1:43:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  asked how someone metabolizes  their own                                                               
fat stores.                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  explained  that  when someone  was  in  the                                                               
process of  weight loss, the body  looks to the fat  tissue as an                                                               
energy source.                                                                                                                  
1:44:24 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
[Co-Chair Josephson returned the gavel to Co-Chair Tarr]                                                                        
1:44:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR opened invited testimony on HB 27.                                                                                
1:45:01 PM                                                                                                                    
VEENA  SINGLA,  Scientist;  PhD,  University  of  California  San                                                               
Francisco (UC  San Francisco) stated  that she is a  scientist in                                                               
the program on reproductive health  in the environment.  She said                                                               
her program's  mission is to  create a healthier  environment for                                                               
human reproduction  and development through  advancing scientific                                                               
inquiries,  clinical  care,  and  health  policies  that  prevent                                                               
exposures to harmful chemicals in  our environment.  She reported                                                               
that flame  retardants in furniture  and children's  products has                                                               
been  found to  be ineffective  and unnecessary  for slowing  and                                                               
preventing  fires.   Research  at  the  Consumer Products  Safety                                                               
Commission and  the California Bureau  of Home  Furnishings found                                                               
no  difference in  fire  behavior of  furniture  with or  without                                                               
flame retardants.  She said  that flame retardants are not needed                                                               
in children's products.                                                                                                         
1:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  SINGLA  stated  in  2016,  she published  a  study  that  10                                                               
organohalogen  flame retardants  were  widespread  in the  indoor                                                               
dusts  of  our  homes,  schools,  and  other  buildings.    These                                                               
chemicals  pose health  hazards,  including cancer,  reproductive                                                               
and developmental toxicity.                                                                                                     
DR. SINGLA  explained that flame  retardant chemicals  were added                                                               
to  children's  products  and   furniture,  but  these  chemicals                                                               
migrate and contaminate  indoor air and dust.   This contaminated                                                               
air and dust  are ingested when people breathe.   She pointed out                                                               
that  children  are  more  vulnerable   and  at  risk  for  flame                                                               
retardant exposure.   They breathe more for their  body size than                                                               
adults   and  have   closer  contact   with  baby   products  and                                                               
contaminated dust when they crawl on  floors.  They have three to                                                               
15  times  greater times  of  flame  retardants in  their  bodies                                                               
compared to their moms, she said.                                                                                               
1:47:04 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. SINGLA reported  that infants with more baby  products in the                                                               
home tend to have higher flame  retardant levels, up to 100 times                                                               
greater than  their moms.   This posed a serious  concern because                                                               
children's  brains  and bodies  are  uniquely  vulnerable to  the                                                               
effects  of  toxic   chemicals.    She  pointed   out  that  some                                                               
chemicals, such  as lead are  particularly poisonous  to children                                                               
while  their  brains  are  developing.   She  reported  that  her                                                               
programs  published a  comprehensive  review of  PBDEs last  year                                                               
which  found  that  flame retardant  exposure  before  birth  was                                                               
associated with lower  IQs in children.   Furthermore, early life                                                               
exposures to cancer-causing chemicals  could increase cancer risk                                                               
for a  person's entire  life span.   She  related that  data from                                                               
numerous studies has shown use  of fewer flame retardant products                                                               
in rooms resulted in lower levels  of chemicals in air, dust, and                                                               
DR. SINGLA stated  that limiting flame retardants  in products is                                                               
an  effective  and  evidence-based  approach  to  reduce  harmful                                                               
chemicals in our children's bodies.   She thanked members for the                                                               
opportunity to testify.                                                                                                         
1:48:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked if she  was aware of any  studies or                                                               
experiments -  not conducted on  humans - that have  found causal                                                               
relationship exists.                                                                                                            
DR. SINGLA, in response, answered  that flame retardants have had                                                               
toxicological testing  establishing toxicities, for  example, the                                                               
neurodevelopmental  toxicity  of  PBDE flame  retardants  or  the                                                               
cancer-causing  properties  of  other   flame  retardants.    She                                                               
reported that the National Toxicology  Program has done extensive                                                               
testing  on a  number  of flame  retardants  to determine  health                                                               
hazards.   In response to  Co-Chair Tarr, she offered  to provide                                                               
copies of any studies.                                                                                                          
1:49:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  pointed out  the committee spent  nearly an                                                               
hour  rolling  out  this  proposal.   He  asked  when  she  would                                                               
conclude  public testimony  [since it  was lengthy  testimony and                                                               
others needed to an opportunity to testify].                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  clarified that  the testifiers  were invited                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked if there were  any divergent opinions                                                               
on the bill.                                                                                                                    
1:50:49 PM                                                                                                                    
ALEX  BOYD, Assistant  Chief,  Anchorage  Fire Department  (AFD),                                                               
Alaska Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA),  stated that he signed on,                                                               
as did  many of his  colleagues, to  assist his community.   They                                                               
have found  that firefighters were  two to six times  more likely                                                               
to  be  diagnosed  with  cancer.    According  to  some  studies,                                                               
firefighters' lifespans  have been  25-30 years shorter  than the                                                               
average person.                                                                                                                 
MR. BOYD offered  his belief that exposure  to organohalogens was                                                               
not solely  responsible but contributed  to the  higher incidence                                                               
of exposure  to flame retardants  when fighting fires.   He spoke                                                               
on behalf of the Fire Chiefs Association in support of HB 27.                                                                   
1:52:05 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF TUCKER,  President, Alaska  Fire Chiefs  Association (AFCA),                                                               
spoke in support  of HB 27.  He reiterated  that flame retardants                                                               
were  used  in  the  1970s.    Fire  protection  from  the  flame                                                               
retardants did not  occur and studies have  shown these chemicals                                                               
contain highly  toxic carcinogens.   Today's  firefighters suffer                                                               
ever more  increasing exposure from toxic  atmospheres in today's                                                               
homes.  Firefighters dying  from occupational-related cancers now                                                               
nationally count  for over half  of the line-of-duty  deaths each                                                               
year.     The   Alaska  legislature   has  recognized   the  risk                                                               
firefighters   face  by   enacting   legislation  that   provides                                                               
presumptive  coverage for  disabilities from  diseases, including                                                               
certain  cancers  directly  linked  to  flame  retardants.    The                                                               
firefighters have been taking proactive  steps to reduce exposure                                                               
to  carcinogens by  instituting new  procedures and  adopting the                                                               
technologies  to protect  firefighters.   However,  that was  not                                                               
enough, he said.                                                                                                                
1:54:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  TUCKER  pointed  out   that  Representative  Tarr  mentioned                                                               
earlier   fire-safe   cigarettes.     The   fire-safe   cigarette                                                               
initiatives  were  state  initiatives  that began  in  the  early                                                               
2000s.   In 2007, Alaska adopted  Senate Bill 84 and  in 2012 all                                                               
50  states  enacted legislation  for  fire-safe  cigarettes.   He                                                               
remarked that this  bill was also a state proposal  rather than a                                                               
federal  initiative.    On  behalf  of  the  Alaska  Fire  Chiefs                                                               
Association and  firefighters across the state,  he urged members                                                               
to pass HB 27 to  protect firefighters who serve communities from                                                               
cancer-causing chemicals.  He thanked members.                                                                                  
1:55:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND related  his understanding that consumers                                                               
can now  avoid chemically-laden  products for  their homes.   She                                                               
asked how consumers  can rid themselves of  existing chemicals in                                                               
our homes.   She characterized Alaska as the end  of the line for                                                               
products with furnishings clearly ensconced in people's homes.                                                                  
MR.  TUCKER said  he  was unsure.   He  explained  that the  fire                                                               
service has taken proactive steps  and now treats structure fires                                                               
differently.   He  related  that firefighters  treat  fires as  a                                                               
hazardous  material  [HAZMAT]  response.   The  departments  have                                                               
started  initiating procedures  to decontaminate  firefighters on                                                               
scene  and provide  protective gear  such as  hoods that  provide                                                               
toxin protections.   He reiterated  that he  was not sure  how to                                                               
rid homes  of these chemicals  other than through attrition.   He                                                               
emphasized  that not  putting  chemically-laden  products in  our                                                               
homes would be a positive step Alaskans could make.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  said   she  has  observed  firefighters                                                               
cleaning  personal  equipment  after  a fire  call.    She  asked                                                               
whether  the cleaning  system has  a limited  effect or  if their                                                               
processes remove a significant portion of the chemicals.                                                                        
MR. TUCKER said  that the commercial washing machines  did a good                                                               
job  of removing  these chemicals.   Some  fire departments  have                                                               
started to  purchase two sets  of gear for firefighters  to allow                                                               
the used set  of gear to be decontaminated.   He related that on-                                                               
site  exposure  included  skin contact  as  well  as  respiratory                                                               
exposure.    Fire  departments have  been  working  to  implement                                                               
proactive measures.                                                                                                             
1:58:56 PM                                                                                                                    
ALISON  TALLEY,  Learning   Disabilities  Association  of  Alaska                                                               
(LDAA), paraphrasing  from a prepared statement,  thanked members                                                               
for the  opportunity to speak  in support of  HB 27.   She stated                                                               
that she  is the mother  of three  adopted children, all  of them                                                               
born in Alaska.  Two  of her children have learning disabilities.                                                               
She also  volunteers with  the Learning  Disabilities Association                                                               
of  Alaska.   She offered  to  provide members  with her  written                                                               
testimony in  support of HB 27.   She encouraged members  to read                                                               
the source materials cited in her letter.                                                                                       
MS.  TALLEY  provided statistics,  such  as  one reported  in  an                                                               
article  published   in  Pediatrics  [Official  Journal   of  the                                                             
American Academy  of Pediatrics]  and cited  by the  CDC [Centers                                                               
for  Disease  Control and  Prevention]  noting  that one  in  six                                                               
children  in  the  United  States  has  a  reported  learning  or                                                               
developmental disability, such as  autism or an attention deficit                                                               
hyperactivity  disorder (ADHD).    This represents  a 17  percent                                                               
increase in 10 years, she said.  She reported that between 1997-                                                                
2008, the prevalence  of ADHD rose by 33 percent  and autism rose                                                               
by 290 percent.                                                                                                                 
2:00:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. TALLEY further reported that  the National Academy of Science                                                               
(NAS) indicated environmental  factors, including toxic chemicals                                                               
like flame retardants contribute to  or cause 28 percent of these                                                               
disabilities.   Over  one-quarter of  disabilities like  learning                                                               
problems, ADHD,  and autism  were caused in  part by  exposure to                                                               
toxic chemicals  that are found  in everyday  household products,                                                               
she said.   Science clearly shows  that even low levels  of toxic                                                               
chemicals such as flame retardants  can affect and change babies'                                                               
brains.  Those disabilities last a lifetime, she said.                                                                          
MS.  TALLEY  stated that  homework  time  at  her house  was  not                                                               
frustrating but heartbreaking.   Her children felt  they were not                                                               
as smart, worthwhile  or as good as other children.   It took all                                                               
their courage every day  just to go to school and  it took all of                                                               
hers to  send them, she said.   She wondered whether  exposure to                                                               
toxic chemicals  might have  contributed even  a small  amount to                                                               
the heartbreak  present at her  dining room table.   She remarked                                                               
that she did not wish this to happen to any family.                                                                             
MS.  TALLEY urged  members to  act  and prevent  damage by  toxic                                                               
chemicals to developing  brains.  She urged members  to adopt the                                                               
Toxic Free Children  Act.  Please protect  Alaska's children from                                                               
flame retardants that  put them at higher  risk for developmental                                                               
and  learning   disabilities.    She  thanked   members  for  the                                                               
opportunity to testify.                                                                                                         
2:03:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR opened public testimony on HB 27.                                                                                 
2:03:59 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTI  APANGALOOK,  Alaska   Community  Against  Toxins  (ACAT),                                                               
stated that  she was calling from  St. Lawrence Island.   She was                                                               
calling  to testify  on behalf  of ACAT.   She  said she  was the                                                               
mother of  a six-year-old  boy and  was expecting  another child.                                                               
She offered  her belief that  flame retardants should  be banned.                                                               
She  offered  that  she  lives  in an  isolated  village  on  St.                                                               
Lawrence Island.   She said  that residents were often  cooped up                                                               
inside  during   winter  storms   suffering  exposure   to  flame                                                               
retardants contained in  furniture.   She spoke in  support of HB
27.   She said it  was scary to be  expecting a child  and buying                                                               
furniture that  likely contained  flame retardants.   She thanked                                                               
the committee for its time.                                                                                                     
2:05:30 PM                                                                                                                    
ABEL  BULT-ITO, Professor;  PhD, University  of Alaska  Fairbanks                                                               
(UAF),  stated  that  he  is  a  professor  of  neurobiology  and                                                               
anatomy.  He offered to speak  on behalf of himself, as an expert                                                               
in behavioral neuroscience in strong support of HB 27.                                                                          
DR. BULT-ITO,  responding to earlier questions,  spoke about many                                                               
studies  that showed  causal  effects.   He  said  that very  low                                                               
dosages  of  zebra  fish  treated   with  flame  retardants  will                                                               
dramatically affect their  behavior in larvae and in  adults.  He                                                               
reported  that flame  retardants at  comparable levels  to humans                                                               
have  shown  to decrease  attention  span  in rats  and  affected                                                               
neural  development  in mice.    He  reiterated  that a  host  of                                                               
studies  showed  flame  retardants   are  harmful  to  developing                                                               
animals and  - he assumed  - for people  as well.   He reiterated                                                               
his strong  support for HB  27.   He hoped the  legislature would                                                               
pass HB 27.                                                                                                                     
2:07:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked if he  could forward the  studies on                                                               
rats and  mice.  He  also asked whether  he could provide  a more                                                               
comprehensive list  of chemicals  with clearly  indicated adverse                                                               
consequences that were not on a federally-restricted list.                                                                      
DR.  ABUL-ITO  agreed  to  provide  the  studies  and  additional                                                               
information to  the committee.   He suggested  one source  he has                                                               
used  was  the  National  Institute   of  Health  PubMed  website                                                               
[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/].  He  stated that a search                                                               
for  flame  retardants  and   brain  developments  would  provide                                                               
numerous  articles and  papers  that show  the  effects of  these                                                               
toxic chemicals.                                                                                                                
2:08:35 PM                                                                                                                    
THOMAS  OSIMITZ, American  Chemistry  Council  (ACC), offered  to                                                               
comment on two things.   He suggested that thinking about hazards                                                               
was important; however, the most  important thing to consider was                                                               
the actual chemical exposure to children  and people.  He said it                                                               
was important  to bring  the concept of  risk into  the decision-                                                               
making  process of  which  chemicals should  be  regulated.   For                                                               
example,  some chemicals  that have  undergone extensive  reviews                                                               
include  flame  retardants  known  as  TCPP,  [commonly  used  in                                                               
mattresses and upholstered furniture] have  been found to have no                                                               
adverse effects.   Similarly,  TCPP does  not fall  on a  list of                                                               
chemicals  of  high concern,  that  it  was not  neurotoxic,  not                                                               
classified as a carcinogen, or  endocrine disrupter, he said.  He                                                               
emphasized  that  members should  think  very  clearly about  the                                                               
exposure and  not just the  hazard associated with  the chemical,                                                               
to use a risk assessment  to prioritize what should be regulated.                                                               
He  argued against  calling out  specific  chemicals unless  they                                                               
have  gone through  a rigorous  decision-tree.   He  said he  was                                                               
speaking as a toxicologist who  has looked at these chemicals for                                                               
quite a few years.                                                                                                              
2:10:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked about halon  as a fire suppressor.  He                                                               
asked  for further  clarification  on the  operative chemical  in                                                               
fire extinguishers.                                                                                                             
MR. OSIMITZ  responded it was not  his area of expertise,  but he                                                               
offered  his  belief  that  some   bromine  molecules  and  other                                                               
chemicals are likely used to suppress fires.                                                                                    
2:11:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND shared about  the concern for calling out                                                               
specific  chemicals or  classes of  chemicals.   She asked  for a                                                               
MR. OSIMITZ referred  to the specific chemicals in  HB 27, noting                                                               
that they had different properties  and toxicology.  He specified                                                               
that  TCPP  was  not  a PBT  [polybutylene  terephthalate]  or  a                                                               
carcinogen and  it is  not considered  to have  any of  those bad                                                               
hazard properties  that have been listed  or identified chemicals                                                               
as high  concerns for children.   He said that  alone illustrated                                                               
the  point of  why  it was  important to  look  at each  chemical                                                               
individually as opposed to making  broad sweeping statements.  He                                                               
referred to earlier testimony, with  respect to HBCDs [hexabromo-                                                               
cyclododecane], while  it was  true for  diphenyl ethers,  it was                                                               
not remotely related  in biological effects to some  of the other                                                               
flame  retardants.   He  objected  to  grouping the  whole  flame                                                               
retardant category since it did not  fit the science or make good                                                               
public policy.   He said it was important not  just to start with                                                               
the criteria, which is reasonable,  but to be aware that exposure                                                               
is  what  matters.    The   exposure  level  would  be  the  tool                                                               
legislators  could  use to  prioritize  what  chemicals are  most                                                               
important to regulate  because it would bring  the biggest public                                                               
health improvement, he  said.  He suggested that as  the bill was                                                               
currently  written a  lot  of energy  would  be misspent  listing                                                               
chemicals that  would have  no effect on  exposure to  people and                                                               
would not result in any public health benefit.                                                                                  
2:14:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH asked  about the  process a  chemical goes                                                               
through,  including  animal trials,  to  determine  safety for  a                                                               
consumer product.                                                                                                               
MR. OSIMITZ deferred to others  to speak to the details regarding                                                               
current  regulations; however,  he  offered his  belief that  the                                                               
chemicals such as  TCPP have gone through extensive  testing.  He                                                               
said that  many of the newer  chemicals have extensive data.   He                                                               
offered to  provide the committee  with one of the  EPA alternate                                                               
assessments  on various  flame retardant  chemicals.   He thought                                                               
that was a  pretty good compendium of what the  EPA has available                                                               
or has predicted.  He remarked  that extensive work has been done                                                               
in the past  20 years.  He  said the due diligence  and care that                                                               
goes into  developing new  molecules has changed  in the  past 10                                                               
2:15:54 PM                                                                                                                    
EMMA  PATE, Norton  Sound Health  Corporation (NSHC),  stated she                                                               
was born  and raised in  the Bering  Strait Region, an  area that                                                               
NSHC serves.   The NSHC strongly  advocates for HB 27  to protect                                                               
the  health  and safety  of  Alaskan  children.   She  said  that                                                               
reviewing the  facts provided by  the Alaska Community  Action on                                                               
Toxics,  the organohalogen  flame retardants  have immediate  and                                                               
long term effects on Alaskan  children who are most vulnerable to                                                               
toxins.   She  urged Alaskans  who have  the capacity  to protect                                                               
children need to do so.   Firefighters need protection from these                                                               
MS. PATE stated the NSHC also  submitted a letter of support from                                                               
Angie Gorn,  NSHC's president and chief  executive officer (CEO).                                                               
She thanked members for their time.                                                                                             
2:17:49 PM                                                                                                                    
PATTI  SAUNDERS,  on behalf  of  herself,  read from  a  prepared                                                               
statement, as follows:                                                                                                          
     I am very  fortunate to have many children  in my life.                                                                    
     I'm  a grandmother,  an honorary  aunt,  and a  special                                                                    
     friend to  my amazing  four-year-old neighbor.   I love                                                                    
     them all beyond measure.                                                                                                   
2:18:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. SAUNDERS  remarked that she did  not want to be  a researcher                                                               
with PhD  level investigative  skills to make  sure the  toys and                                                               
other gifts  she purchases will  not cause harm because  of toxic                                                               
ingredients   that   cause   neurological   defects   and   adult                                                               
reproductive difficulties.   She said she was  deeply offended by                                                               
the suggestion  of the American Chemistry  Council representative                                                               
that  the  state  should  defer  regulation  of  unnecessary  and                                                               
ineffective chemicals until proven  harmful or that Alaska should                                                               
not  protect  its  children  from those  chemicals.    She  urged                                                               
members to please  support HB 27 to start fixing  the problems of                                                               
organohalogen flame retardants.                                                                                                 
2:20:39 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  KENNISH, on  behalf  of  himself, stated  he  is a  retired                                                               
professor and an  experienced chemist.  He stated  that he worked                                                               
as a chemist  for 50 years.  He worked  on flame retardants years                                                               
ago as  well as  on studies of  metabolism distribution  of these                                                               
chemicals in  rats.  He  explained that  the net result  of these                                                               
compounds is  they break  down rapidly  to produce  free radicals                                                               
and one  of the  free radicals  is halogen  - either  chlorine or                                                               
bromine -  and react to oxygen  to terminate the actual  flame by                                                               
removing  oxygen  from  the  flame.     The  problem  with  these                                                               
compounds,  these  free radicals,  is  that  will react  to  cell                                                               
tissue in  the body, he  said.   These compounds can  be absorbed                                                               
through the  skin and that means  there are some levels  of those                                                               
compounds in  children sleeping in  flame retardant  clothing, so                                                               
everyone was being exposed.                                                                                                     
2:21:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  KENNISH remarked  that chemicals  also become  absorbed when                                                               
people  sit on  furniture.    It was  found  that chemicals  were                                                               
absorbed fastest  around the stomach  area, which was why  it was                                                               
problematic   for  children   wearing  flame   retardant  treated                                                               
pajamas.    He  said  non-toxic   materials  were  available  for                                                               
clothing.   He suggested eliminating chemicals  that are absorbed                                                               
metabolically  converted and  reacting in  cells with  other non-                                                               
toxic materials.                                                                                                                
2:22:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  KENNISH  recalled  several years  ago  people  in  Anchorage                                                               
analyzed these  chemicals and lawyers were  likely affected since                                                               
they sat  in treated chairs while  at work.  He  concluded it was                                                               
not  just  children  who  were exposed  but  everyone  was  being                                                               
exposed  at some  level to  highly-reactive compounds.   He  said                                                               
once the  flame retardant  chemicals were in  the body,  the free                                                               
radicals  react  in the  tissue.    He pointed  out  firefighters                                                               
become  exposed  to really  toxic  reactive  chemicals once  free                                                               
radicals are exposed to flames.                                                                                                 
2:23:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND   asked  if   he  participated   in  the                                                               
investigations he remarked on today.                                                                                            
MR. KENNISH said that he worked  on these chemicals at the Oregon                                                               
Health   Sciences  Center   and   Department   of  Physiology   &                                                               
Pharmacology from 1977  through 1980 and some  summers working on                                                               
studying metabolism and distribution of chemicals to tissues.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  asked for the most  recent citations for                                                               
the most recent work.                                                                                                           
MR.  KENNISH said  he provided  information to  the sponsor.   He                                                               
offered to provide more specific information to the committee.                                                                  
2:25:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH   asked  whether   someone  from   the  Toy                                                               
Association would testify.                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR TARR answered yes.                                                                                                     
2:25:21 PM                                                                                                                    
JASMINE  JEMEWOUK,  Board  Member,  Alaska  Community  Action  on                                                               
Toxics, stated she  was also student at the  University of Alaska                                                               
from  Elim, Alaska.   She  offered her  belief that  HB 27  would                                                               
protect Alaskan  children from exposure to  flame retardants that                                                               
were  known to  cause adverse  health effects.   She  stated that                                                               
children  in  Alaska  were disproportionately  exposed  to  flame                                                               
retardants  due to  being confined  indoors during  long winters.                                                               
She  offered her  belief  that keeping  flame  retardants out  of                                                               
products was  crucial for  Alaska's public  health.   She thanked                                                               
the committee for the opportunity to testify.                                                                                   
2:26:41 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER  GIBBONS, Vice  President,  State Governmental  Affairs,                                                               
The  Toy  Association, explained  that  she  represents over  950                                                               
members  of toy  retailers  and manufacturers  in North  America.                                                               
She offered to highlight a few concerns with HB 27.                                                                             
MS.  GIBBONS said  that toy  manufacturers typically  do not  add                                                               
flame  retardants   to  toys;  however,  some   of  the  chemical                                                               
substances may be found in the  structural make up of toys in the                                                               
internal   electronic  components.     She   stated  that   flame                                                               
retardants  could  be  found in  electronic  circuit  boards  and                                                               
electronic   assemblies  in   toys.      These  components   were                                                               
inaccessible to children  and the flame retardants  used in these                                                               
components were critical  to product safety.  While  there may be                                                               
alternatives  for  other  uses   of  flame  retardants,  in  this                                                               
application   there  was   not   any   consistent  and   reliable                                                               
alternative, she said.                                                                                                          
2:27:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GIBBONS  stated that banning  flame retardants  in electronic                                                               
components may result in electrical  risks not currently present.                                                               
Other states  have recognized this  and have  exempted electronic                                                               
or inaccessible components in flame  retardant restrictions.  She                                                               
thanked the committee for its consideration.                                                                                    
2:28:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked how widespread this was within toys.                                                                 
MS. GIBBONS answered  that the problematic area  would be banning                                                               
electronic  components  since  companies must  meet  federal  and                                                               
international flammability standards.   She offered her belief it                                                               
was critical to  the safety of toys that the  flame retardants be                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH asked  if  all other  states with  similar                                                               
legislation have this exemption.                                                                                                
MS.  GIBBONS spoke  to the  specifics of  bills she  was familiar                                                               
with that related  to children's products since  some states have                                                               
enacted flame  retardant legislation specific to  furniture.  She                                                               
was not familiar with those bills.   She stated that with respect                                                               
to flame retardant restrictions  in children or juvenile products                                                               
there  are exemptions  for consumer  electronics or  inaccessible                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked for confirmation  that to best of her                                                               
knowledge  there  were  not   any  restrictions  to  inaccessible                                                               
components in children's products.                                                                                              
MS. GIBBONS answered no.                                                                                                        
2:30:01 PM                                                                                                                    
OLIVIA OLSON  stated she  was 16  years old.   She  expressed her                                                               
concerns about  flame retardant  products.   She has  two younger                                                               
brothers  who constantly  touch  and  play with  toys.   She  was                                                               
concerned about the health effects  [flame retardants] would have                                                               
on her family.  She offered  her strong support for HB 27 because                                                               
she should  not have  to worry about  her family  getting cancer,                                                               
learning  disabilities,  or  immune disorders  from  exposure  to                                                               
these chemicals.   She  thanked the  sponsor for  introducing the                                                               
bill and taking a leadership role for a healthier Alaska.                                                                       
2:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
McJUN NOBLEZA shared a personal  anecdote about being an uncle of                                                               
the cutest baby.  He spoke  about families and wanting to protect                                                               
all  children at  risk  from  these chemicals.    He offered  his                                                               
belief that  this bill  would lower the  negative effects  of the                                                               
majority  of consumer  products [contain  flame retardants].   He                                                               
stated  that  he   cares  for  young  children   and  for  future                                                               
generations.  He thanked the bill sponsor for introducing HB 27.                                                                
2:32:27 PM                                                                                                                    
ZEB SHELDON spoke in  support of HB 27.  He said  he has a three-                                                               
year-old  baby sister  who still  runs,  plays, and  crawls.   He                                                               
expressed  concern  about  the  danger  of  flame  retardants  in                                                               
children's toys  since they pose  a higher risk to  children that                                                               
can lead to cancer, neurological  and developmental delays.  Even                                                               
though these highly toxic flame  retardants do not provide a fire                                                               
safety  benefit  they  are  still  contained  in  items  used  in                                                               
households  on  a  daily  basis.   He  thanked  the  sponsor  for                                                               
introducing HB 27.                                                                                                              
2:33:39 PM                                                                                                                    
PAMELA  MILLER, Executive  Director, Alaska  Community Action  on                                                               
Toxics  (ACAT),  speaking  on  behalf  of  ACAT,  said  statewide                                                               
environmental  health  research   and  advocacy  organization  of                                                               
scientists   and  public   health  professionals   and  community                                                               
advocates  that   conducts  research  and   provides  educational                                                               
programs  and  training.   She  stated  that ACAT  has  conducted                                                               
research in  the Norton Sound  region and she offered  to provide                                                               
the scientific  studies to the  committee.  She shared  that ACAT                                                               
just  published   papers  concerning  the   endocrine  disrupting                                                               
effects of  these chemicals.  The  ACAT has found high  levels of                                                               
flame  retardant chemicals  in household  dust, blood  serum, and                                                               
traditional foods  of people  in the Northern  Bering Sea  on St.                                                               
Lawrence Island.   She said the levels were high  enough to cause                                                               
thyroid disruption.                                                                                                             
2:34:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MILLER  countered   what  was  said  by   the  Toy  Industry                                                               
Association.   She said it really  was not true that  these flame                                                               
retardants  are  not  in  toys.    She  has  participated  in  an                                                               
international study of polyvinyl  chloride toys, including rubber                                                               
duckies, jump  ropes, and other types  of plastic toys.   Many of                                                               
these  toys  contained  very  high   levels  of  flame  retardant                                                               
chemicals because they are made  from recycled plastics that were                                                               
recycled from electronics.   She  stated that the entire class of                                                               
organohalogen flame  retardants were  associated with a  range of                                                               
adverse health effects.   Some were previously  mentioned but she                                                               
asked  to mention  several, including  cancer, neurodevelopmental                                                               
and reproductive toxicity.   She pointed out  that the developing                                                               
brain was  very sensitive to  these toxic chemicals  and learning                                                               
deficits persist throughout life.                                                                                               
2:35:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MILLER  reported that the Consumer  Product Safety Commission                                                               
(CPSC),  as  recently  as  2017,  issued  an  important  warning,                                                               
recommending  that manufacturers,  importers, and  retailers stop                                                               
selling  or  using  products  containing  the  class  of  related                                                               
chemical  flame retardants  known  as  organohalogens, which  are                                                               
included in HB  27.  This warning was issued  because this entire                                                               
class  of  chemicals  has been  associated  with  adverse  health                                                               
effects.  She  cautioned that it was not possible  to regulate on                                                               
a chemical-by-chemical  basis.  These chemicals  are very similar                                                               
at a  molecular level and affect  human bodies in a  similar way,                                                               
she  said.   She  reiterated  the importance  of  taking a  class                                                               
approach for  these flame retardants  since these  chemicals have                                                               
serious effects.   Many states have taken the lead  in advance of                                                               
federal rulemaking  and are taking  the CPSC's  warning seriously                                                               
by instituting policies.                                                                                                        
2:36:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MILLER  explained that  these flame  retardants do  not break                                                               
down  so  high levels  of  chemicals  have  been found  in  fish,                                                               
wildlife, and  people on  the St. Lawrence  Island in  the Bering                                                               
Sea.  She respectfully asked  members to pass this crucial public                                                               
health  measure.   This bill,  HB 27,  has been  receiving strong                                                               
support from health care  providers, firefighters, Native tribes,                                                               
organizations and agencies that  serve those people with learning                                                               
and  developmental disabilities.    She offered  her belief  that                                                               
this  needed to  be taken  seriously.   She  thanked members  for                                                               
allowing her to testify.                                                                                                        
2:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SU CHON  stated she was born  and raised in Alaska.   She offered                                                               
her  belief  that  the  state government  has  an  obligation  to                                                               
protect its citizens when the  federal government is slow to act.                                                               
She  wanted to  ensure  that her  home  was safe  to  live.   She                                                               
reported that  Alaskans are disproportionately affected  by flame                                                               
retardant chemicals.   It was scary to learn that  Alaska has the                                                               
highest  rate  of  birth  defects  in  the  nation.    Even  when                                                               
factoring in  alcohol and  cigarette use,  the numbers  cannot be                                                               
explained,  and the  state needs  to find  the root  problem, she                                                               
said.   She stated that  13 states have already  adopted policies                                                               
to  rid flame  retardants and  18  additional states  are in  the                                                               
process  of   adopting  similar   policies.    The   name  "flame                                                               
retardants" was a  misnomer. These chemicals do  not provide fire                                                               
safety  benefits and  instead flame  retardants  make fires  more                                                               
toxic, which  was the reason  firefighters support the  bill, she                                                               
said.  Alaskans  and their children's health deserve  to be taken                                                               
seriously.  She said, "When  Alaskans are pleading to protect us,                                                               
please  protect us."   She  thanked  the sponsor  for taking  the                                                               
initiative to  protect the  health of  Alaskans by  sponsoring HB
2:39:28 PM                                                                                                                    
JACICA KIM  spoke in  support of HB  27.  She  stated that  HB 27                                                               
would phase  out flame retardant chemicals  in everyday products.                                                               
Flame retardants did little to  prevent fires, yet they are added                                                               
to  everything consumers  use from  couches to  computers.   This                                                               
meant   that    everyone,   including   family,    friends,   and                                                               
grandchildren would  be exposed  to highly toxic  chemicals known                                                               
to   be    linked   to    cancer,   hormone    disruptions,   and                                                               
neurodevelopmental  delays.    Major  retailers  including  IKEA,                                                               
Walmart, Ashley  Furniture, and Target have  already committed to                                                               
eliminating flame  retardants because of consumer  response.  She                                                               
offered her  belief that  Alaska can act  now and  take proactive                                                               
action  to   phase  out  flame   retardants  since   the  federal                                                               
government will not, to protect  Alaskans and future generations.                                                               
She thanked the committee and sponsor.                                                                                          
2:41:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  stated she would  leave public testimony  open and                                                               
announced  she  would  hold  the  bill over.    She  removed  her                                                               
objection; therefore, Version  D was before the  committee as the                                                               
working draft.                                                                                                                  
[HB 27 was held over.]                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 355 Amendment Four - D.6 - Rep. Rauscher 3.2.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Amendment Five - D.7 - 3.2.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Amendment Seven - Rep. Rauscher 3.7.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Sectional Analysis 2.21.18.pdf HRES 2/28/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/28/2018 6:00:00 PM
HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Sponsor Statement 2.21.18.pdf HRES 2/28/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/28/2018 6:00:00 PM
HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Supporting Document- Expanded One Pager 2.21.18.pdf HRES 2/28/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/28/2018 6:00:00 PM
HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Ver A 2.21.18.pdf HRES 2/28/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/28/2018 6:00:00 PM
HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
Law Fiscal Note, HB 355.pdf HRES 2/28/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/28/2018 6:00:00 PM
HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Supporting Document- Alaska Fire Chiefs Letter of Support 2.28.18.pdf HRES 2/28/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/28/2018 6:00:00 PM
HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Opposition-Squyres Graphic.pdf HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Opposition-Squyres Testimony.pdf HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB330 ver A 2.16.18.pdf HJUD 2/16/2018 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 2/21/2018 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 2/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Transmittal Letter 2.16.18.pdf HJUD 2/16/2018 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 2/21/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Fiscal Note DNR-DOG 2.16.18.pdf HJUD 2/16/2018 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 2/21/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Opposing Document-UCM Letter 2.21.18.pdf HJUD 2/21/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Proposed Amendment 2.23.18.pdf HJUD 2/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Amendments #1-2 2.26.18.pdf HJUD 2/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Amendments #1-2 HJUD Final Vote 2.26.18.pdf HJUD 2/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB 27 Sponsor Statement 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/2/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/4/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Ver. D bill 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/2/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/4/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Version A 1.18.17.PDF HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/4/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Version D Sectional Analysis 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/2/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/4/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Fiscal Note DEC 3-2-18 HIGH-RISK CHEMICALS FOR CHILD EXPOSURE 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/2/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/4/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Flame Retardents - Consumer Product Safety Commission 9-28-17.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Supporting Document - Consumer Product Chemicals in Indoor Dust Analysis 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Supporting Document - Household dust factsheet 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Supporting Document 5 Support Emails 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Supporting Document -20 Support Letters 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 355 Supporting Document - Letter DOF Fire Program Mgt 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 330 Overview Presentation by DNR 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB 355 Amendment One - D.2 - Rep. Rauscher 3.1.18.pdf HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Amendment Two - D.3 - Rep Rauscher 3.1.18.pdf HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Amendment Three - D.4 - Rep. Rauscher 3.1.18.pdf HRES 3/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 355 Amendment Six - Rep. Rauscher 3.7.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 355
HB 27 Flame Retardants Presentation.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Supporting Document - Testimony - Talley 3.9.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Supporting Document - Safer States laws.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/19/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 27