For the first time, makers of children’s products are disclosing the presence in their products of 66 toxic chemicals that are a concern to children’s health.
The reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology report chemicals linked to cancer, learning problems, and reproductive abnormalities. The chemical use reports are available online at: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/cspa/.
The reporting is required under the state’s new Children’s Safe Products Act and is most comprehensive disclosure of chemical use in children’s products in the nation, the Washington Toxics Coalition said in a statement.
The requirements in the act are phased in based on manufacturer size and type of children’s product. The reports received this year are from the largest manufacturers who make products that are likely to be placed in a child’s mouth or on their skin, or products for children age 3 and under.
“Chemicals linked to cancer and learning disabilities have no place in products put in kids’ mouths or on their bodies,” said Ivy Sager-Rosenthal, campaign director for the coalition. “Consumers have been in the dark about the chemicals in children’s toy boxes, tubs, and dressers for too long.”
Some of the most commonly reported chemicals include phthalates, a reproductive toxin, and the carcinogens antimony, cobalt, and styrene, Sager-Rosenthal said. The data show there is still a need for manufacturers using these chemicals to switch to safer alternatives, she said.
“One car seat maker, Harmony Juvenile Products, reported using deca-BDE, a flame retardant that has been banned in certain products in Washington state,” Sager-Rosenthal said. “While not banned in car seats, deca-BDE is a harmful chemical that does not need to be used in children’s products.”
She called for legislators and the department to put in place stronger policies to protect kids’ health where necessary, including banning the use of the most problematic chemicals and requiring the use of safer chemicals in their place.
“Without such action, we will continue to run on the toxic treadmill of using one harmful chemical in place of another,” Sager-Rosenthal said.
She called the new reporting information a good first step.
“We look forward to reviewing the new information in the coming weeks and working with legislators, Ecology, and manufacturers to ensure the reporting is done accurately and that manufacturers use only the safest chemicals and materials in consumer products.”