BILL NUMBER: S782
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the environmental conservation law and the general
business law, in relation to jewelry containing lead
This bill would prohibit the distribution and sale of jewelry
containing lead, to reduce the hazards of exposure to lead, would
define testing methods for jewelry to determine compliance, would
impose penalties for violating the law and institute a new labeling
requirement for lead containing jewelry.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Section 1: Sets out legislative findings.
Section 2: Adds new section 37-0113 to the environmental conservation
law. This section defines body piercing jewelry; children; children's
jewelry; class 1 material; class 2 material; class 3 material; jewelry
components; EPA reference methods, jewelry and surface coating. This
section also sets the date on or after which restriction will be
placed on advertising, manufacturing, offering for sale, selling,
distributing for promotional purposes, or importing for distribution
or sale into this state, any jewelry that does not meet the standards
of safety based on the definitions above.
Section 3: Adds a new section 37-0115 to the Environmental
Conservation Law the defines testing methods for determining
compliance with section 37-0113.
Section 4: Adds new section 71-3711 to Environmental Conservation Law,
which establishes the enforcement provisions for section 37-0113. The
initial violation of this section would amount to a civil penalty not
to exceed $500. Any subsequent violation of this section would result
in a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500 for each violation. Penalties
would be assessed by the Commissioner of the Department of
Environmental Conservation after considering a variety of factors.
Any civil fine collected would be deposited in the Environmental
Protection Fund. Any showing of excessive lead content must be done
by a laboratory meeting the testing requirement established under this
bill. Any person charged under this section of the law must be
provided with all the supporting documents related to the testing of
Section 5: Amends the general business law to create a new section
399-gg that requires all jewelry sold contain a conspicuous notice
stating the percentage of lead in the jewelry. Also, any jewelry sold
containing more than .02 percent (two hundred parts per million) lead
by weight shall contain a warning label, stating, "Contains lead which
may be harmful to your health. Not be used by children under the age
Section 6: Effective date.
EXISTING LAW :
Lead is a neurotoxin that is particularly hazardous to young children.
Exposures to even very low levels of lead can cause brain function
impairment. No level of lead exposure has been found to be safe for a
developing child. High concentrations of lead have been consistently
found in jewelry, particularly inexpensive jewelry that is marketed to
children. Numerous random samples of jewelry sold in New York State
have been found to contain very high lead content (up to 60,000 parts
per million) in recent tests. It is the purpose of this legislation to
reduce the significant risk of lead exposure, particularly to
children, by limiting the availability of lead containing jewelry.
This legislation has been redrafted to meet the issues pointed out in
the veto message for a similar bill which passed both houses in 2007.
The Governor seemed to be concerned that the enforcement mechanisms be
improved and that retailers be prevented from using ignorance as a
defense to selling a toxic piece of jewelry. In an effort to meet
these concerns, the "knowing and intentional" requirements have been
removed from penalty section of the bill and a new labeling'
requirement has been added to insure that manufacturers explicitly
state the lead content of a particular piece of jewelry.
Additionally, patterned after the California Law this new bill
includes factors for the Commissioner to consider when levying
penalties including the good faith of the violator.
If signed into law, this bill would be an important measure in
protecting the health and safety of our most valuable resource our
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
Similar bill, S.5784, vetoed 2007.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE :
Immediately; except that section 5 of the act shall take effect March