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April 14, 2011

The HSUS Applauds Texas Senate For Passing Antifreeze Bill

SB 1301 to add bittering agent to deadly chemical unanimously passes

AUSTIN, Tex. — The Humane Society of the United States, on behalf of its more than 500,000 supporters in Texas, and the Humane Society Legislative Fund, praise the Texas Senate for approving a measure that will reduce the number of childhood poisonings and save tens of thousands of animals each year. The bill, S.B. 1310, which requires a bittering agent to be added to antifreeze and engine coolant products so that children, pets and wildlife are not poisoned by the sweet-tasting liquid, was championed by Sen. Bob Deuell, R – District 2. 

“The passage of S.B. 1301 will help reduce the number of child poisonings and save thousands of animals each year,” said Nicole Paquette, Texas senior state director for The HSUS. “We are very grateful to Sen. Deuell for his leadership on this important piece of legislation, and to all of the members of the Texas Senate who supported the bill.” 

The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 31 to 0. The bill now goes to the House where it will be referred to a committee for potential action. 

The bill had broad support including The HSUS, HSLF, Honeywell, the Consumer Specialty Products Association, Texas Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Animal Control Association, and the Texas Humane Legislation Network. 

An estimated 1,400 children and 10,000 animals are poisoned each year after ingesting ethylene glycol, a highly toxic chemical used to make antifreeze and coolant for automobiles. Ethylene glycol's sweet smell and taste makes the deadly substance attractive to animals and children. The bill will require manufacturers to add denatonium benzoate, the bitterest known chemical, which renders the product unpalatable, to antifreeze and coolant sold in the state. It is estimated that it will cost manufacturers an additional two to three cents per gallon to add the bittering agent. 

If signed by Gov. Perry, Texas will become the 16thstate to pass a bill requiring antifreeze contain a bittering agent. The other states where The HSUS and HSLF have worked to pass similar legislation are: Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org

The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at hslf.org

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