TITLE OF BILL:
to amend the general business law, in relation to the sale of engine
coolant and antifreeze
PURPOSE OF BILL:
Provides that any engine coolant or antifreeze that contains 10% or
more of ethylene glycol shall only be sold if it contains a minimum
of 30 parts per million (ppm) and a maximum of 50 pm of the
non-toxic, aversive additive denatonium benzoate (DB) in order to
render it unpalatable.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The general business law is amended by adding a new section
399-j Engine coolant and antifreeze.
This legislation seeks to reduce the ingestion of antifreeze and
engine coolant by humans and animals by requiring antifreeze and
engine coolant to include a bittering agent. Ethylene glycol is a
colorless, sweet-tasting, extremely toxic liquid. Unfortunately,
because of its sweet taste, it may appeal to children, pets,
wildlife, and those with limited mental capacity. According to the
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC), ethylene glycol ingestion is rapidly absorbed
by the body and leads to systemic toxicity. When ethylene glycol
breaks down in the body, it forms chemicals that crystallize and
seriously damage kidney functions. Death may occur within 24 hours.
Even small amounts of spillage during the transfer from its container
to the vehicle can place children, adults and pets at risk. The ASPCA
Animal Poison Control Center estimates that as little as one teaspoon
of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat and one to two tablespoons can
kill a 10-pound dog.
Approved by the FDA in 1963, Denatonium Benzoate (DB) is known as the
bitterest substance. Adding as little as thirty parts per million of
DB renders the liquid too bitter to be tolerated. The Prestone
Research and Development Lab has reported that adding DB to
antifreeze and cooling agents, in the amount prescribed by this bill,
does not damage automotive cooling systems. DB is currently used in
many household products, including liquid soap, nail polish remover,
and paint, to prevent ingestion by children and pets. And finally,
the Engineering Society for Advancing Mobility Land, Sea, Air and
Space International found that DB does not present any significant
toxicity or environmental hazards. This bill' would greatly reduce
the risk of accidental poisoning by requiring antifreeze and engine
coolant products with specified amounts (greater than 10%) of
ethylene glycol to also include 30 to SO parts per million of
Denatonium Benzoate, a highly effective bittering agent, that would
make the antifreeze or
engine coolant unpalatable. Antifreeze or engine coolants in motor
vehicles at the time of sale, as well as antifreeze or engine coolant
sold in barrels with a capacity of 55 gallons or more are exempt from
Pursuant to this legislation, any manufacturer, processor,
distributor, recycler or seller of engine coolant or antifreeze which
contains DB will be held harmless and not liable to any person for
any personal injury, death, property damage, damage to the
environment (including natural resources), or economic loss which may
result from the inclusion of DB in the antifreeze. This will not
impact the antifreeze or engine coolant manufacturer's liability for
their product, the engine coolant or antifreeze.
Fourteen states have enacted similar legislation: Arizona, California,
Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon,
Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
2005-06: A.1621-A/S.4999-A Passed Assembly
2007-08: A.3638-B/S.4205-B Passed Assembly
2009-10: S.4276 Referred to Consumer Protection
This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.
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