A bill recently introduced in the Senate would ban certain toxic chemicals from being added to products intended for children, such as clothes, car seats, furniture, and toys. The bill currently has enough votes to pass due to the number of co-sponsors, however it is currently stuck. Two senators are among 34 co-sponsors of the bill. During a press conference this morning, they asked the Senate to pass the bill, called the Child Safe Products Act. The State Assembly passed a similar version of the legislation last year, and agan this year. The legislation would create a list of hazardous chemicals found in children’s products. The State Department of Environmental Conservation would maintain the list. Children’s product manufactures and distributors would need to inform retailers if their products contain any of the chemicals included on the list within one year. Beginning in 2013, children’s products that included these chemicals couldn’t be sold in New York. The consumer advocacy group Clean & Health New York created a fact sheet on the chemicals banned throughout the state. During a press concerence, a senator said they were alarmed because there weren’t currently any requirements for manufacturers to disclose information to the public. His statement said children and families are exposed to these harmful chemicals each day without realizing it, and it must be stopped through the Child Safe Products Act.
If the legislation is passed by the Senate, the result will have an impact across the country. New York and California are currently the two biggest consumer markets in the US, and California currently has similar laws in effect. Consumer safety measures put into effect by one or both of these states have resulted in manufactures across the country creating legislation and new requirements for chemical safety. A representative for Child Care Council, a nonprofit child care resource, said many companies change a product for the whole country. A list of the banned substances found inside children’s products include arsenic, which is found in car seats and bed frames. It is known carcinogen and leads to skin tumors and poor cognitive development. Other ingredients include benzene, beryllium, cobalt, lead and mercury. Benzene can be found in baby food and leads to genetic mutations or leukemia. Keryllium is found in electronic devices and can lead to reduced lung functioning and lung cancer. Cadmium is also banned, and can lead to loss of motor skills, according to news reports.