Relates to the sale of engine coolant and antifreeze; defines terms; provides exemptions.
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 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.
JUSTIFICATION: 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 this bill.
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.
SIMILAR LEGISLATION: 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
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3862 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 8, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. ALESI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to the sale of engine coolant and antifreeze THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 399-j to read as follows: S 399-J. ENGINE COOLANT AND ANTIFREEZE. 1. ANY ENGINE COOLANT OR ANTI- FREEZE SOLD IN THIS STATE THAT IS MANUFACTURED ON OR AFTER JULY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND TWELVE, AND THAT CONTAINS MORE THAN TEN PERCENT ETHYLENE GLYCOL, SHALL INCLUDE DENATONIUM BENZOATE AT A MINIMUM OF THIRTY PARTS PER MILLION AND A MAXIMUM OF FIFTY PARTS PER MILLION AS A BITTERING AGENT WITHIN THE PRODUCT SO AS TO RENDER IT UNPALATABLE. ANY MANUFACTUR- ER OR PACKAGER OF A PRODUCT SUBJECT TO THIS SECTION SHALL MAINTAIN A RECORD OF THE TRADE NAME, SCIENTIFIC NAME, AND ACTIVE INGREDIENTS OF ANY BITTERING AGENT USED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. INFORMATION AND DOCUMEN- TATION MAINTAINED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE FURNISHED TO ANY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC UPON REQUEST. 2. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO APPLY TO THE SALE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE THAT CONTAINS ENGINE COOLANT OR ANTIFREEZE, NOR TO WHOLESALE CONTAINERS OF ENGINE COOLANT OR ANTIFREEZE CONTAINING FIFTY-FIVE GALLONS OR MORE OF ENGINE COOLANT OR ANTIFREEZE. 3. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERMS "ENGINE COOLANT" AND "ANTI- FREEZE" SHALL MEAN ANY ENGINE COOLANT OR ANTIFREEZE THAT CONTAINS MORE THAN TEN PERCENT ETHYLENE GLYCOL. 4. A MANUFACTURER, PROCESSOR, DISTRIBUTOR, RECYCLER, OR SELLER OF AN ENGINE COOLANT OR ANTIFREEZE THAT IS REQUIRED TO CONTAIN A BITTERING AGENT UNDER SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO ANY PERSON FOR ANY PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH, PROPERTY DAMAGE, DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT (INCLUDING NATURAL RESOURCES), OR ECONOMIC LOSS THAT RESULTSEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09971-01-1 S. 3862 2
FROM THE INCLUSION OF DENATONIUM BENZOATE IN ANY ENGINE COOLANT OR ANTI- FREEZE, PROVIDED THAT THE INCLUSION OF DENATONIUM BENZOATE IS PRESENT IN CONCENTRATIONS MANDATED BY SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION. THE LIMITA- TION ON LIABILITY PROVIDED IN THIS SUBDIVISION DOES NOT APPLY TO A PARTICULAR LIABILITY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE CAUSE OF SUCH LIABILITY IS UNRELATED TO THE INCLUSION OF DENATONIUM BENZOATE IN ANY ENGINE COOLANT OR ANTIFREEZE. S 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.