(TRENTON) - Legislation Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and Reed Gusciora and Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer sponsored to ensure that anti-freeze sold in New Jersey includes a bittering agent to prevent poisonous ingestion by children and pets was approved by the Senate on Thursday, giving it final legislative approval.
"Pets, especially dogs, have been known to drink antifreeze, which is a highly toxic substance that can be sweet tasting, leading to serious health issues or even death," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic). "Bittering agents are effective in helping to prevent consumption by both animals and children, who sometimes confuse the substance with bright colored sports drinks."
The bill (A-2961) would establish a civil penalty for failing to include a bittering agent in antifreeze sold in the New Jersey.
"This adds a little more punch to our current law to ensure that this potentially life-saving measure is complied with," said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "This simple procedure can help deter children and pets from accidentally ingesting anti-freeze. If manufacturers aren't willingly complying with it, then we need to create a greater incentive for them to do so."
"Although the law currently requires the use of a bittering agent in antifreeze products sold in New Jersey, it does not provide a penalty for persons who do not comply with this requirement," said Spencer (D-Essex). "The bill would fill this gap in the law and better protect children and pets."
The bill would fill this gap in the law by providing, in particular, that any person who fails to include a bittering agent in antifreeze would be subject to a civil penalty of $500 for each offense. The bill would also provide that when a violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues would constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.
The bill now goes the governor.