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California Industrial Hygiene Council December 4, 2006. Patti Krebs, Executive Director Industrial Environmental Association. Science and Public Policy Decisionmaking. In the News. “IBM Workers Fear Cancer Risk” -- USA Today

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california industrial hygiene council december 4 2006

California Industrial Hygiene CouncilDecember 4, 2006

Patti Krebs, Executive Director

Industrial Environmental Association

in the news
In the News
  • “IBM Workers Fear Cancer Risk”
  • -- USA Today
  • “Beverly Hills High: Not Guilty”
  • -- Los Angeles Times
what is the precautionary principle
What is the Precautionary Principle?

The Precautionary Principle is about scientific uncertainty and taking appropriate actions to reduce uncertainty to protect health.

“Do No Harm”

application of the precautionary principle
Application of the Precautionary Principle
  • Prevention
  • Transfers burden of proof
  • Process of elimination
  • Basic right to community health
  • Alternative assessment if science is unable to:





*Measured the internal pollution level in blood, urine, bodily fluids and tissues of 11 California residents.

*Examined how exposures resulted in higher levels of chemicals and the connection to diseases including:

- Cancer

- Asthma

- Parkinson’s disease

- Infertility

- Learning disabilities

- Birth defects

the need for biomonitoring
The Need for Biomonitoring

“We monitor what’s in our air, our water, and even what’s in our fish.

It’s time to start looking at what’s inour bodies.”

the case for body burden studies
The Case for Body Burden Studies
  • Over 100,000 synthetic chemicals are registered for use today in the U.S., with an additional 2,000 new chemicals added each year. Yet less than 10% have been tested for their effects on human health.
  • Toxic chemicals are linked to serious chronic diseases.
  • Chronic disease has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. An estimated 125 million Americans, or 43% of the population, have at least one chronic illness.
  • Chronic diseases carry enormous costs to California – $1.27 billion for asthma alone.
  • Nearly 20 million American children have at least one chronic illness.
what is an environmental chemical
What is an Environmental Chemical?

“A chemical compound or chemical element present in air, water, food, soil, dust or other environmental media, such as consumer products.”


Challenges with Biomonitoring Research

*Improving the design of biomonitoring studies

*Interpreting what biomonitoring data means

*Understanding ethical and communication issues associated with data dissemination.

“Just because people have an environmental chemical in their blood or urine does not mean that the chemical causes disease.”

biomonitoring legislative history
Biomonitoring Legislative History
  • SB 689 (Ortiz)
  • SB 1168 (Ortiz)
  • SB 600 (Ortiz)
  • SB 1379(Perata)
proposed legislation based on flawed premise
Proposed Legislation Based on Flawed Premise

-Detection of a chemical does not mean harm to human health.

critical elements of california s biomonitoring program
Critical Elements of California’s Biomonitoring Program

*Scientifically based framework and protocols used by the CDC

*Representative sample of statewide population

*Program authority to rest with Department of Health Services

*Limits advisory panel to scientific expertise

*Review board to develop guidelines for dissemination of responsible and ethical information


Green Chemistry in California:

A Framework for leadership in Chemicals, Policy and Innovation


Green Chemistry

…the design of chemical products and processes to reduce and/or eliminate substances hazardous to human health and the environment.


Key Findings

  • New approach to chemicals policy is necessary for a sustainable future
  • Problems associated with the present approach to a chemical design, use and management represent one of the major challenges of the 21st century
  • Scale of chemical production is immense
  • Major gaps: Data, Safety, Technology
  • Incorporate precautionary decision making into the framework of chemical risk assessment
  • Establish a chemicals policy task force to explore various mechanisms and develop a legislative proposal for a comprehensive policy
  • California needs a modern, comprehensive chemicals policy

Legislative Concerns

  • *Tired of “chemical du jour”
  • *Public is not protected
  • *Federal regulatory system is inadequate
  • *REACH is a model
industry concerns
Industry Concerns
  • *REACH is one large scale response, however, products typically develop through incremental change
  • *Need better understanding of low dosages and how they factor into decision-making
  • *For biotech and pharmaceutical industries, broad-sweeping replacement of chemicals could cause renavigation of FDA process.
  • *Reports are focused on negativity instead of benefits (such as chlorine used in Avian flu vaccine)
  • *Agree that reliability and consistency with MSDS’s are an issue
  • *Prop 65 has raised public awareness of chemicals but also desensitized public
industry concerns continued
Industry Concernscontinued…
  • *Data collection by government will mean more testing, more restrictions and inaccurate representations of risk interpretations
  • *Industry should be the leader and innovator of green chemistry initiatives
  • *Chemical companies need to do a better job of working with end users to evaluate exposure because they cannot know in advance how chemical will be used
  • *Chemicals can provide great benefits to mankind and that should not be lost in the debate
legislative intent
Legislative Intent

*Legislative proposal likely in early 2007 from Senate Environmental Quality Committee

*Model for crafting legislation to be based on AB32 (greenhouse gas legislation)

*Legislature will set stage to help businesses understand long-term policy direction and level the playing field.


Patti Krebs

Executive Director