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April 22, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Kristina Loquist at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian announced today that his Assembly Bill 2474 regarding antifreeze poisoning will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions on April 23, 2002. By adding a bittering agent to antifreeze, the bill is designed to improve consumer safety and reduce the number of accidental poisonings suffered by children and animals.

“The idea for AB 2474 came to me from a constituent as part of my ‘There Oughta Be a Law’ Contest,” said Simitian. “The suggestion for the bill was particularly compelling because the Ward family of Cupertino had lost a puppy to antifreeze poisoning. This is the type of unfortunate accident that AB 2474 is designed to prevent.”

California Poison Control Services reported that in 2000, 66 children age 12 and under were the victims of accidental poisonings resulting from ingesting antifreeze.  One antifreeze manufacturer, Sierra Antifreeze, estimated that 90,000 pets and animals die each year from ethylene glycol-based antifreeze.

Currently, antifreeze has a sweet taste that can lead to unintended poisonings and even death. At a cost of just a few pennies per container, we can reduce the likelihood that parents and pet owners will have to continue to face the gruesome results of accidental poisonings that result when kids and animals ingest antifreeze.

Lauren Ward, the Cupertino resident who submitted the antifreeze bill idea to Simitian will be on hand to testify at the Committee hearing. Ward said, “I had contacted just about every local elected official I could think of with no result. I then heard about Assemblyman Simitian’s contest. I decided to give it one more chance. I was very impressed when Joe called me himself to tell me he would be introducing my idea as a bill. This bill is an important step in making our environment safe for kids & animals.”

“There is some industry opposition to the bill,” noted Simitian. “I expect the Committee vote may be close, but we have a compelling story to tell, and I think Ms. Ward will make a particularly persuasive witness.”

A law similar to Simitian’s AB 2474 has been on the books in Oregon for a decade.