TITLE OF BILL: An act 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 ppm
of the non-toxic, aversive additive denatonium benzoate (DB).
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The general business law is amended by adding a
new section 399-j: Engine coolant and antifreeze.
JUSTIFICATION: From coast to coast, people and animals have been harmed,
even killed, both accidentally and intentionally, simply by ingesting a
small amount of antifreeze which contains ethylene glycol.
Since this bill was first introduced in New York (2004) eight other
states enacted this bill into law: Arizona, California, Maine, New Mexi-
co, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington State and Vermont. Oregon enacted
this legislation in 1991.
Once adamantly opposed to regulations, beginning in 2007, the Consumer
specialty Products Association has called upon Congress to pass this
legislation in order to create a uniform national standard.
Ethylene glycol is a colorless, sweet-tasting, aromatic and extremely
toxic liquid. unfortunately, the sweet smell and taste appeals to chil-
dren, pets, wildlife, alcoholics 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 ethy-
lene glycol breaks down in the body, it forms chemicals that crystallize
and seriously damage kidney functions. Death may occur within 24 hours.
Even the smallest drop of spillage during the transfer from its contain-
er 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; one to two tablespoons can kill a
Companion animals and children are not the only ones at risk. According
to the U.S. Fish and wildlife Service, an imperiled California condor
released back into the wild died from ethylene glycol poisoning. Four
cheetahs died of liver failure at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, FL
and an Alaskan polar bear was arbitrarily found dead; all had ethylene
glycol present in their systems.
Approved by the FDA in 1963, denatonium benzoate (DB) is known as a
Bittering Agent. By adding as little as thirty parts of DB to one
million parts of ethylene glycol renders the liquid too. bitter to be
tolerated: The prestone Research and Development Lab has reported that
"adding DB to antifreeze and cooling agents does not damage automotive
cooling systems." The Center for the Science and Engineering of Materi-
als characterized DB as a "harmless additive that, when added to a
potentially harmful household, garden or automotive product, renders
these products unpalatable becoming a powerful deterrent against poison-
ing especially in young children." And finally, the Engineering society
for Advancing Mobility Land, Sea, Air and Space International found that
BB "does not present any significant toxicity or environmental hazards,
degrades photo-chemically in water and is destroyed in water treatment
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2003-04: A.10548 Referred to Codes 2005-06:
S.4999 Reported to Rules/A.1621A Passed Assembly 2007-08: S.4205
Referred to Consumer Protection/A.3638B Passed Assembly 2009-10: A.7602A
Passed Assembly 2011-12: S.6246 Referred to Consumer Protection/A.4332
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2015