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We Ask State To Investigate Possible Violations Of Cadmium, Phthalate Standards For Kids’ Products

Update 11/8/15: Good news! After we alerted the Department of Ecology to possible violations of cadmium and phthalate standards in kids’ personal care products and clothes, Ecology said they will investigate to “establish a more comprehensive approach to hold manufacturers accountable for complying with both state and federal chemical regulations.” Read more.

This week we asked the Washington State Department of Ecology to investigate and take action against companies that appear to be violating state standards for cadmium and phthalates in kids’ clothing and personal care products.

After reviewing thousands of reports filed by kids’ product manufacturers on the toxic chemicals in their products, we’re concerned that companies may be selling kids’ products in violation of standards for cadmium and phthalates under the Children’s Safe Products Act (CPSA). Manufacturers are required to file these reports under the CPSA. The most recent round of reporting revealed over 6500 reports of toxic chemicals in kids’ products.

Many companies appear to have violated state standards over the past years, including The Gap, Michael’s Stores, and Carters. Some companies argue that weaker federal standards should apply rather than the more stringent state standards. We don’t agree.

We’ve asked Ecology to do the following:

  • Investigate these reports.
  • Request that companies potentially in violation of the law disclose the specific products that violate the standard.
  • Take appropriate enforcement action against companies violating state limits on phthalates and cadmium in children’s products.

Our Executive Director, Laurie Valeriano, said it best in her letter to Ecology, “It has been seven years since the passage of the CSPA. The state has made good progress on collecting and analyzing toxic chemicals in children’s products. However, it is time manufacturers be held accountable for selling products with harmful banned chemicals.”

Press coverage:

Tacoma News Tribune