DES MOINES, IOWA — A bipartisan bill under consideration by the Iowa legislature right now would ban the use of chemicals linked to bladder cancer from use in catheters in the State of Iowa.

The bill would ban Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate or DEHP, which is in a family of chemicals that are described as toxic, endocrine-disrupting chemicals which are added to certain plastic products. The chemical has been banned by the FDA for use in children’s toys, and a democratic lawmaker wants to see this chemical banned for catheter use in the state.

“The bladder cancer rates in the disabled population are between four and ten times higher,” said State Representative Josh Turek, (D) from District 20. Turek is the first permanently disabled member of the Iowa House and wants to use his freshman term to tackle this issue.

“It’s something that sadly is taking all the way for me to address. This is something that should have been done years and years ago. It’s something that has already been banned in almost every other country,” said Turek.

The bill passed the subcommittee on Tuesday, making it one of the only Democrat-sponsored bills to advance this session. Other disabled people came to speak and let their stories be told to the panel of lawmakers.

“We have a friend right now that’s going through bladder cancer treatment. And I heard she’s really struggling and we are doing this for her and almost everybody in the community knows somebody because it’s so prevalent,” said Jennifer Wolff, a disabled occupational therapist, who herself is disabled.

The bill must pass through committee to have a chance at being signed into law this session.