Parents were shocked when in 2007 reports of high levels of lead in children’s products hit the media. For weeks new warnings and recalls were issued as more and more toys were found to contain high levels of toxic chemicals.
When all was said and done millions of pieces of jewelry, toys, and other items were recalled. Parents learned some sobering facts: children’s products were not safe; the government was not doing its job to protect kids from chemicals linked to cancer and other health effects; and dangerously high levels of chemicals known to be harmful were legally allowed in items kids play with, sleep on, wear, and suck on.
In response, the Washington State Legislature passed a groundbreaking law establishing the nation’s strictest standards for lead, cadmium, and phthalate chemicals in kids’ products. Also, for the first time ever, makers of children’s products were required to report on the presence of certain toxic chemicals in their products.
This powerful law helps protect kids from toxic chemicals by giving policymakers, consumers, and companies information to better understand the chemicals in products and to take action. It also provides incentive to companies to switch to safer alternatives.
This right-to-know law has proven invaluable for consumers, companies, and policymakers. We are working to make sure it remains strong and protects kids from harmful chemicals.
- Washington should strengthen the law’s implementation by requiring reporting of more chemicals and products. Read about our efforts to require reporting of chemicals in home electronics.
- Existing state standards for lead, cadmium, and phthalates in children’s products must be enforced. Manufacturers violating these standards should be held accountable.
Consumers need the latest information on toxic chemicals in products. We will continue to provide the best information in an easy-to-understand format using the latest information collected under the law.
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- A bill to expand the Children’s Safe Products Act to include reporting of toxic chemicals in electronic products, like game consoles, computers, televisions, and tablet computers, was introduced in the 2017 Washington State Legislature. Although it did not pass, efforts are underway to reintroduce the bill for the 2018 legislative session. Find out more about the issue and how you can help.
- Right now, the Washington State Department of Ecology is updating the Children’s Safe Product Act program that requires makers of kids’ products to report certain toxic chemicals in their products. Find out more and how you can help make the program even stronger.