WXXI Local Stories
Thu April 17, 2014
Proposed Bill Would Keep Toys Safe From Toxic Chemicals
A legislative proposal to eliminate toxic chemicals from children's products is hung up in the state Senate, despite passing in the Assembly last year.
Thursday, Democratic Senator Ted O’Brien, a representative for Republican Senator Joe Robach and health advocates are calling on state leaders to pass the Child Safe Products Act.
“We believe that our count there is enough votes already in the senate to pass it,” says O’Brien.
Thirty five of the 61 members of the Senate, including O'Brien and Robach, signed on to co-sponsor of the measure to protect children from the effects of dangerous chemicals.
"We just want to make sure that the products that they believe they are purchasing are in fact safe. That’s the impetus behind this legislation."
O'Brien says the bill overwhelming passed in the Assembly last year in a 111-30 vote. He's hoping the legislation will be on the Governor's desk by the end of this legislative session.
The Child Safe Products bill establishes a chemical priority list, which the Department of Conservation would maintain. Such compounds include arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead. After a year, manufactures, which use those chemicals on children products, would be required to disclose those toxins through labeling. By 2018, makers would have to replace those chemicals with safer alternatives.
Many parents and child care providers are unaware of the different kinds of chemicals in toys and children products that they presume to be safe.
"They become quite concerned when they learn and specifically child care providers whose job is to take care of the kids,” says Kate McArdle, of the Child Care Council. “So they're enraged when they find out.
McArdle says the bill would ensure a many products would be much safer than they currently are.
The Senate reconvenes on April 28th.