Making Antifreeze and Engine Coolant Unpalatable to Humans and Animals

CSPA has worked in tandem with the Humane Society of the United States to develop model state legislation that requires engine coolant and antifreeze to contain a bittering agent so as to render it unpalatable to humans and animals. The Association has been active in the successful passage of such legislation in several states.

To date, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin have enacted such laws to help prevent the accidental or intentional poisoning of people, pets and other animals as a result of ingesting antifreeze or engine coolant.

CSPA advocates that any antifreeze or engine coolant that contains more than 10 percent ethylene glycol and is manufactured after a specified date, shall include denatonium benzoate (DB) at a minimum of 30 parts per million and a maximum of 50 parts per million as a bittering agent within the product so as to render it unpalatable.

The model legislation provides necessary liability limitation for the manufacturers of antifreeze or engine coolant who do not produce the bittering agent and would be required to include it in their products. It is a matter of fundamental fairness and equity that this legislation provides limitation of liability for manufacturers of antifreeze or engine coolant and stipulates that bittering agent manufacturers maintain liability for their product. Under the liability limitation included in the model bill, antifreeze manufacturers would remain liable for antifreeze.

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