Dec 4 - Legislation Models EU Toxic Phase Out in Electronics

Assembly Member Lori Saldaña, D-San Diego, introduced legislation today that would require manufacturers of electronic equipment to phase out the use of hazardous materials in all electronic devices sold in California by 2010.

AB 48, would expand the state's current Electronic Waste Recycling Act (SB 20), which requires manufacturers of computer monitors and televisions to phase out the use of specified toxic materials. This bill would include any electronic or battery-operated device in the phase out.

The Department of Toxic Materials would be required consistently implement these provisions following guidelines of the ROHS directive. The directive adopted by the European Union, which became effective earlier this year, is the model for this bill,

This bill is similar to AB 2202 (Saldaña), which failed to gain passage in the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this year.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 70 percent of the toxic heavy metals found in landfills come from electronic waste. California alone generates about 500,000 tons of electronic waste annually, much of which contain heavy metals and other toxic substances posing serious threats to public health.