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Legislative briefs.

Legislative briefs

* East Coast beach closings made news all summer as illegally dumped medical wastes -- including bloodied bandages, sutures and vials of AIDS-infected blood -- washed ashore. And the defiling wastes weren't limited to seashores: 200 hypodermic needles were among the debris littering Lake Erie's banks. To date there hasn't been any way to trace who's responsible, according to Rep. Thomas A. Luken (D-Ohio). So he drafted a bill to track those wastes -- from cradle to grave. This Medical Waste Tracking Act became law Nov. 1.

In states participating in a voluntary two-year demonstration program, anyone generating, storing, treating, transporting or disposing such wastes must keep publicly accessible records on them. Only generators producing less than 50 pounds of waste in any month may be exempted from the tracking rules. Violation of the law can carry fines of up to $1 million.

* Within two years, the U.S. government must issue regulations requiring that plastic-ring holders -- used to carry cans and bottles -- be biodegradable, according to a law enacted Oct. 28. These discarded devices can entangle and kill fish and wildlife.

* A law enacted Nov. 1 designates lead-lined water coolers (SN: 12/19&26/87, p.390) as "imminently hazardous," directs the Environmental Protection Agency to identify which models contain lead, and requires that within one year manufacturers repair, replace, recall or offer owners refunds for them.
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Title Annotation:medical waste control, plastic-ring holders, lead-lined water coolers
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 19, 1988
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