Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Washington State's New Child Safety Law - Let's get the other states onboard!

Finally, a state has passed a Children's Safe Products Act that will enable parents to make safer choices for their families.

The Washington State Department of Ecology (ECOLOGY), in consultation with the Washington State Department of Health, is developing a list of chemicals that manufacturers must report on. This list is called the Reporting List of Chemicals of High Concern to Children and currently contains 66 chemicals, though this will change as needed. Chemicals on the list have been found to be toxic (meaning they cause developmental or reproductive harm, disrupt the endocrine system, cause damage to the nervous or immune system, or cause other systemic toxicity, or cause cancer or genetic damage)and have either been found in children’s products or have been documented to be present in human tissue (blood, breast milk, etc.). This act will require manufacturers of children’s products to report if their products contain chemicals of high concern. The rule applies to companies that make children’s products like toys, cosmetics, jewelry and baby products. The largest manufacturers of products likely to be placed in a child’s mouth or on their skin, or products for children age 3 and under, must report first. Beginning in August 2012, manufacturers of children's products must report to Ecology if their products contain these chemicals.

Chemicals on this list include:
-Bisphenol A (BPA)
-Ethylene glycol
-Mercury & mercury compounds
-Antimony & Antimony compounds
-Arsenic & Arsenic compounds
-Cadmium & cadmium compounds
-Cobalt & cobalt compounds
-Vinyl Chloride (found in PVC)

Making manufacturers report the use of toxic chemicals is the first step toward finding safer choices for our children. We're hoping that other states take note and follow Washington State's lead!

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