California Senate Bill 1014 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson was heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee this afternoon. CAW testified in support.
The bill would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to create a program providing consumers with options for convenient and proper disposal of home-generated pharmaceutical waste. Unproperly disposed and hoarded medications pose a human health hazard through accidental ingestion in children and drug abuse and addiction in teens and adults.
There are also water quality issues when the unwanted pharmaceuticals are flushed down the drain. Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to capture these hormones and other drugs, which then pose a risk not only to humans but also aquatic life.
A fact sheet and sample support letter are available for download. A similar program has been working successfully in British Columbia to reduce the impacts of improperly discarded pharmaceutical waste.
SB 1014 passed out of the committee and will be heard next in the Senate Business and Professions Committee on April 21.