Senator O'Brien, Senator Robach and advocates call for Senate action on Child Safe Products Bill

 

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A legislative proposal to disclose the use of toxic chemicals in children’s products is languishing in the New York State Senate, despite passing the Assembly this year, in a 111-25 vote.

State Senator Ted O’Brien, ranking member of the Senate Environmental Conservation committee, today called on the Senate leadership to bring the Child Safe Products Act to the floor for an immediate vote as soon as the Senate reconvenes on April 28. He was joined by Senator Joe Robach and representatives from Moms for a Non Toxic New York and the Child Care Council, Inc.

Thirty-five of the 61 members of the State Senate have signed on to co-sponsor this measure to protect children from the impact of chemicals that can have lifelong impacts on developing bodies.

Sen. O’Brien said, “A majority of Senators support this bill and want to see it become law. It’s time for the Senate leaders to listen to their members, along with parents and advocates who have worked so hard to raise awareness about this issue, and allow a vote to protect our children from toxins in their toys, clothes, and furniture.”

The Child Safe Products Act (S.4614 – Sen. Boyle, et. al) establishes a “priority” list of the most dangerous chemicals found in children’s products, which list the Department of Environmental Conservation will maintain. Within a year, manufacturers must then disclose the use of any listed chemical in any product designed for use by children. Starting in 2018, manufacturers must phase out the use of that chemical in children’s products.

Senator O’Brien said, “Parents need to be made aware that products they buy for their children may contain harmful chemicals that could contribute to learning and developmental disabilities, asthma, obesity and infertility. It’s alarming that there is currently no requirement for manufacturers to disclose this information. We need to change that so parents have the information they need to make safe and healthy choices for their children.”

Senator Robach said, “Children and families throughout our state are unknowingly exposed to these harmful chemicals on a daily basis. We can help put an end to it by passing the Child Safe Products Act, which I am proud to co-sponsor.”

The Child Safe Products Act is supported by numerous organizations, including New York State United Teachers, New York State Nurses Association, the Learning Disabilities Association of New York State, several New York State Breast Cancer Coalitions, Environmental Justice Action Group of Western New York, and Clean and Healthy New York. The measure has also been endorsed by the American Sustainable Business Council, which represents 25,000 businesses in New York.

Medical researchers have long stated that children are highly susceptible to harmful chemicals in products, even in small amounts.  It is essential that parents know more about the presence in children’s products of such dangerous chemicals as arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead. Equipped with this knowledge, parents can make informed decisions to protect their children from avoidable diseases and disorders, some of which can have lifelong consequences. 

Kate McArdle, Child Care Council Inc.

“Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals. Using the Eco-Healthy Child Care® curriculum, we educate child care providers about potential risks within their facilities and homes. This legislation would further support the work we do to ensure that children are in safe and healthy environments.” 

Kathleen A. Curtis, LPN, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York

“Unfortunately, it’s legal and all too common practice to add toxic chemicals to products for newborn babies and toddlers. We’re thrilled that there is such strong bipartisan support for the Child Safe Products Act, and that New York is poised to join several other states and major retailers in helping parents make smart choices about how to protect their children.”

Linda Guiberson, Moms for a Non-Toxic New York

“Most parents assume the items they purchase for their children are safe. Parents should not have to be scientists, and spend hours of their time, trying to figure out if the products they are buying for their children could be harmful.”

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Media Contact:

Jamie Romeo, Chief of Staff to Sen. Ted O’Brien, romeo@tedobrien.org