SACRAMENTO – A common chemical found in plastic ducks, teething rings and other soft, chewable baby toys would be banned in California under a bill before an Assembly committee this week. Legislation by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, would require that all toys or child care products sold for children under 3 be free of six types of phthalates, a chemical used to soften and smooth plastics. “The vulnerability to toxins is most prevalent in childhood,” Ma said. “It could cause harm to babies, and we should do everything we can.” Phthalates have been banned by the European Union and at least 14 other countries after studies found that the chemical mimics the hormone estrogen and could cause developmental problems. Those could include early puberty in girls, low sperm counts, genital defects and lower testosterone in boys. Scientists in the United States, however, are divided on the health risks. Ma’s legislation is scheduled to be heard Tuesday before the Assembly Health Committee. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Sheffield United have re-signed striker Ched Evans from Chesterfield on a three-year deal, the Blades have announced.Evans was released by United in the summer of 2012 after he was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman and sentenced to five years in prison.That conviction was quashed and at a retrial last year, Evans was found not guilty.Evans, who joins United for an undisclosed fee, told the club’s official website: “I am delighted to be back.“I still feel I have plenty to prove in football both at club and international level and I believe I can achieve those goals at United, playing in front of the terrific fans whose support I have always appreciated.“I am very grateful to Chesterfield, the board and football management for giving me an opportunity to return to the game.“It is just disappointing that it has come in a season which has seen the club suffer relegation. I would like to thank the Chesterfield fans who made me feel so welcome.”Manager Chris Wilder, who led the Blades to promotion to the Sky Bet Championship this season, said of Evans: “The signing is just one element of the plans we have drawn up for next season.“We have done our homework on the player. We pride ourselves on team spirit – as the fans have seen this season – and plan to bring in players who can be part of that.“Ched comes to us with targets to achieve along the way. With a full pre-season with us we believe he can provide us with options up front and score goals.”Chesterfield director and company secretary Ashley Carson said: “Following our relegation to League Two, we recognised it was not in the best interests of Ched if he were to stay.“So, in consultation with manager Gary Caldwell, a decision was made to sell the player. Sheffield United made an offer which has been accepted.“We wish Ched all the very best for the future.”Evans’ first stint with United lasted three seasons, the third of which saw him score 35 goals in all competitions.The club offered him the use of their training facilities in November 2014 after his release from prison, but the criticism the move attracted forced them to revoke the offer.The 28-year-old former Manchester City and Wales player joined Chesterfield on a one-year deal last summer and put pen to paper on a 12-month extension in January.Evans scored seven times in 29 appearances for the Spireites, with the last goal coming in December. He last played in a match on March 4, with an ankle problem curtailing the last few weeks of his season. Ched Evans has returned to Sheffield United five years after being released 1