Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Legislation on Lead, Cadmium, and Phthalates in Toys

Washington State Legislation Will Protect Children’s Health By Eliminating Lead, Cadmium, and Phthalates From Toys!

Olympia, WA
February 19, 2008

Parents, consumer advocates, and environmental groups cheered last night’s passage of the Children’s Safe Products Act of 2008 (HB 2647) by the House of Representatives. The bill passed with bipartisan support on a vote of 95-0. “Earlier generations got the lead out of paint and gasoline, it is time we got the lead and other toxics out of toys,” said Representative Dickerson, D-Seattle, the prime sponsor of the measure.

The bill will eliminate three toxic chemicals, lead, cadmium, and phthalates, from toys and other children’s products. It will also require manufacturers to report whether their products contain other chemicals found to be of a concern for children’s health.
“Toys should be the only things in a child’s toy box, not harmful toxic chemicals. The passage of this bill means children and parents are one step closer to having safer toys and other products,” said Ivy Sager-Rosenthal, environmental health advocate for the Washington Toxics Coalition.

Health professionals applauded the House’s action today. They are concerned because children are especially vulnerable to exposures from toxic chemicals. Even low levels of chemicals are linked to harm to reproductive development, learning, and health. “The House’s passage of this bill brings us closer to implementing pivotal steps to protect children’s health,” said Dr. Laura Hart, President, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, “We have a responsibility to protect children, our most vulnerable population, from chemical exposures. Health professionals throughout the state urge continued action to pass this legislation and create a healthier, safer world in which our children learn, grow and play.”

The legislation passed on the same day that Toys R Us, the national retail chain, announced new lower lead and phthalate standards for toys it sells. Wal-Mart, Target, and Sears are just a few of the retailers who have already announced plans to phase out toxic chemicals in toys and other children’s products.

The Children’s Safe Products Act takes immediate action to ban lead, cadmium, and phthalates from toys, starts the process of identifying other hazards in toys, and gives parents the information they need to make safer choices. If the legislation becomes law, Washington would join California, Michigan, and Illinois, as having taken action on toxic toys.


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