Legislators will propose a bill in January that would ban toxic metals from toys sold in Washington.

“This is of great concern, of course, across the country,” said Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle.

The proposal comes after millions of toys made in China were recalled because of high levels of lead in their paint. Lead can cause brain damage.

Dickerson on Friday briefed a legislative committee on her proposal. Chairman Tom Campbell, R-Roy, questioned how much authority the state has to deal with foreign imports.

“I’m just wondering at what level; how far can we go?” he asked.

“We’ll be testing that,” Dickerson said.

Several people spoke in favor of the ban, including a doctor, nurse and an environmental group representative who noted heavy metals are the same toxins found in the Puget Sound.

“There’s no reason for lead cadmium or other heavy metals in products that are going to be exposed to children. There is no safe exposure level for lead,” said Erika Schreder of the Washington Toxics Coalition.

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