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S02809 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 29, 2019
        Introduced  by  Sen.  COMRIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation
        AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation  to  prohibiting
          the  metropolitan transportation authority from using cleaning materi-
          als or chemicals which may cause or exacerbate asthma

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.    Legislative  intent. Occupational asthma has become the
     2  most prevalent work-related lung disease in developed countries. Accord-
     3  ing to the American Lung Association, ammonia  and  chlorine  are  among
     4  cleaning  solvents  and  chemical irritants that have been proven asthma
     5  triggers.  According to the Federal Centers for Disease  Control  (CDC),
     6  asthma  rates  have  gone  up  105  percent for females over the past 15
     7  years, compared to about a 41 percent increase for  males.  Asthma  hits
     8  the  highest in low income neighborhoods with the largest minority popu-
     9  lation, these are the people who use public transportation the most.
    10    Furthermore, the Agency  for  Toxic  Substance  and  Disease  Registry
    11  (ATSDR) says that over the past decade, the prevalence of asthma in both
    12  children  and adults has increased in the United States. Workplace expo-
    13  sures have been linked to exacerbations of asthma.
    14    The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, further  indi-
    15  cates that while a previous personal or family history of allergies will
    16  make  a person more likely to develop occupational asthma, many individ-
    17  uals who have no such history still will develop this disease if exposed
    18  to conditions that trigger it.
    19    One cause of occupational asthma is known as Direct Irritant  Effects.
    20  These  are irritants that provoke occupational asthma and include hydro-
    21  chloric acid, sulfur dioxide or ammonia, which is found in the petroleum
    22  or  chemical  industries.  Workers  exposed  to  these  substances  will
    23  frequently  begin  wheezing and experiencing other asthma symptoms imme-
    24  diately after exposure to the irritant substance.  Workers  who  already
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 2809                             2
     1  have asthma or some other respiratory disorder are particularly affected
     2  by this type of exposure.
     3    It  is therefore, the intent and purpose of the legislature to prevent
     4  the use of those  cleaning  materials  and  chemicals  which  may  cause
     5  persons  employed  by, or persons using the facilities and equipment of,
     6  the metropolitan transportation authority to develop asthma, or to  have
     7  symptoms of asthma triggered or exacerbated.
     8    §  2.  The  public  authorities law is amended by adding a new section
     9  1279-e to read as follows:
    10    § 1279-e. Prohibited use of asthma causing  chemicals.  1.    Notwith-
    11  standing  any  other law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the metro-
    12  politan transportation authority shall not use for any purpose,  includ-
    13  ing  the  cleaning  and  maintenance  of  its  facilities and equipment,
    14  cleaning materials or chemicals exposure to which may cause  persons  to
    15  develop  the  disease  of asthma, or which may exacerbate or trigger the
    16  symptoms of asthma.
    17    2. A determination of which cleaning materials or  chemicals  exposure
    18  to  which  may  cause persons to develop the disease of asthma, or which
    19  may exacerbate or trigger the symptoms of asthma, shall be made  by  the
    20  commissioner  of  health of the state of New York who shall promulgate a
    21  list of such cleaning materials or chemicals and transmit  the  list  to
    22  the chairman of the metropolitan transportation authority forthwith.
    23    § 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    24  it shall have become a law.
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