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Making antifreeze safer for children and animals

Flickr user "Steve and Sara"

Antifreeze often looks like a sports-drink or Kool-Aid and it can have a sweet smell that attracts animals and kids. A bill in the Michigan legislature would require that a bittering agent be added to antifreeze so humans and animals don’t want to drink it.

Steve Bieda, a senator from Macomb County, is sponsoring the bill. A while ago one of his constituents told him a story about how his beloved hound dog accidentally drank some antifreeze that leaked from the car onto the garage floor. The dog died a painful, agonizing death.

Bieda's bill would require manufacturers to add a bittering agent to the liquid by January 2015. Bieda says he’s heard from several people who had siblings who drank the poisonous liquid as children. He says he’s consulted with groups of physicians and public safety advocates who say this is good policy. Bieda also says this legislation is about saving lives and preventing suffering.

The Senate passed the bill almost unanimously and it now moves to the House.

Kyle Norris is from Michigan and spent ten years as a host and reporter with Michigan Radio, the state’s largest NPR-affiliate. He lives in Seattle and works as a substitute host and producer at KNKX.
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