Text: H.R.2900 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (11/07/1997)

 
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2900 Introduced in House (IH)]







105th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2900

 To provide for research to determine the extent to which the presence 
of dioxin, synthetic fibers, and other additives in tampons and similar 
 products used by women with respect to menstruation pose any risks to 
   the health of women, including risks relating to cervical cancer, 
   endometriosis, infertility, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, immune 
   system deficiencies, pelvic inflammatory disease, and toxic shock 
                   syndrome, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            November 7, 1997

 Mrs. Maloney of New York (for herself, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. Walsh, Ms. 
Norton, Mr. Sanders, Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas, Mr. Brown of California, 
Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Yates, Ms. Christian-Green, Mr. 
Dellums, Mrs. Mink of Hawaii, Mr. Pascrell, Ms. Millender-McDonald, and 
  Mr. Engel) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                         Committee on Commerce.

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To provide for research to determine the extent to which the presence 
of dioxin, synthetic fibers, and other additives in tampons and similar 
 products used by women with respect to menstruation pose any risks to 
   the health of women, including risks relating to cervical cancer, 
   endometriosis, infertility, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, immune 
   system deficiencies, pelvic inflammatory disease, and toxic shock 
                   syndrome, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Tampon Safety and Research Act of 
1997''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds as follows:
            (1) Tampons are used by up to 70 percent of menstruating 
        women in the United States today, and the average woman may use 
        as many as 11,400 tampons in her lifetime.
            (2) Most menstruation products, such as tampons, sanitary 
        pads, and panty liners, contain dioxins to varying degrees, a 
        by-product of a chlorine-bleaching process used in the 
        manufacture of paper products.
            (3) The effects of dioxin from various sources are 
        cumulative and can be measured 20 to 30 years after exposure. 
        Women may be exposed to dioxin in tampons and other menstrual 
        products for approximately 40 years over the course of their 
        reproductive lives.
            (4) Internal documents of the Food and Drug Administration 
        suggest the agency has not adequately investigated the danger 
        of dioxin in tampons, according to a 1992 staff report of a 
        subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House 
        of Representatives.
            (5) The Food and Drug Administration has relied on data 
        provided by feminine hygiene manufacturers in determining 
        product safety.
            (6) Although the Food and Drug Administration currently 
        requires tampon manufacturers to monitor dioxin levels in their 
        finished products, the information is not readily available to 
        the public.
            (7) The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that 
        dioxins are a probable human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).
            (8) Recent studies have produced conflicting information 
        about the link between dioxin exposure and increased risks for 
        endometriosis.
            (9) The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that 
        people with high exposure to dioxins may be at risk for other 
        noncancer effects that could suppress the immune system, 
        increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, reduce 
        fertility, and interfere with fetal and childhood development.
            (10) An independent study in 1991 found that tampons 
        commonly included any of the following additives: Chlorine 
        compounds; absorbency enhancers (such as surfactants like 
        polysorbate-20); natural and synthetic fibers (such as cotton, 
        rayon, polyester, and polyacrylate); deodorant; and fragrance.
            (11) Toxic shock syndrome has been linked to tampon use. 
        Such syndrome is a rare bacterial-caused illness that occurs 
        mostly in menstruating women. During 1979 and 1980, the 
        syndrome was responsible for at least 55 deaths and 1,066 
        nonfatal cases.
            (12) Independent research has shown that synthetic fiber 
        additives in tampons amplify toxin production, which is 
        associated with toxic shock syndrome.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH; RESEARCH ON DIOXIN PURSUANT TO 
              OFFICE OF RESEARCH ON WOMEN'S HEALTH.

    Part F of title IV of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 287d 
et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following section:

``SEC. 486C. CERTAIN PROJECTS REGARDING WOMEN'S HEALTH.

    ``(a) Dioxin in Feminine Hygiene Products.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Director of NIH, in collaboration 
        with the Director of the Office, shall provide for the conduct 
        or support of research to determine the extent to which the 
        presence of dioxin, synthetic fibers, and other additives in 
        tampons and other feminine hygiene products--
                    ``(A) pose any risks to the health of women who use 
                the products, including risks relating to cervical 
                cancer, endometriosis, infertility, ovarian cancer, 
                breast cancer, immune system deficiencies, pelvic 
                inflammatory disease, and toxic shock syndrome; and
                    ``(B) pose any risks to the health of children of 
                women who used such products during or before the 
                pregnancies involved, including risks relating to fetal 
                and childhood development.
            ``(2) Requirement regarding data from manufacturers.--
        Research under paragraph (1) shall include research to confirm 
        the data on tampons and other feminine hygiene products 
        submitted to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs by 
        manufacturers of such products.
            ``(3) Definition.--For purposes of paragraph (1), the term 
        `feminine hygiene products' means tampons, pads, liners, and 
        similar products used by women with respect to menstruation or 
        other genital-tract secretions.
    ``(b) Reports.--Reports on the results of research under subsection 
(a) shall be periodically submitted to the Congress, the Commissioner 
of Food and Drugs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
Agency, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Such reports shall 
be made available to the public through the data system and 
clearinghouse program established under section 486A, or through other 
appropriate means.''.
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