Year after year state decision-makers are finding new ways to protect children and families from toxic chemicals where our federal system has failed. In the past three decades, 38 states passed over 250 laws to protect their residents from toxic chemicals. All of these laws are stronger than federal chemical standards.
States first recognized the need to prevent health impacts from exposures to harmful chemicals. States broke new ground by being first to restrict toxic flame retardants in kids’ products, ban bisphenol A in baby bottles and sippy cups, and establish stronger standards for lead and phthalates in toys.
State chemical policies not only provide health protections within a state’s borders. They spark the passage of similar laws in other states and at the federal level. State policies are the blueprints for both states and the federal government to follow as they tackle the pressing public health issue of unregulated toxic chemicals.
States must continue to pass strong laws that ban chemicals, and require chemical disclosure and the assessment of safer alternatives.
- State laws that require makers of consumer products to disclose the toxic chemicals in their products will continue to be critical sources of information for policymakers and consumers. States should expand these laws to require disclosure for more consumer products and more chemicals.
- States must continue enforcing existing toxics laws that residents have come to rely on to keep them safe. State restrictions on chemicals like lead, toxic flame retardants, and phthalates have given consumers confidence that products are safer, resulted in nationwide phaseouts in the marketplace, and even driven the federal government to act.
- States must step in to push the federal government to act and, when necessary, pass their own laws to protect their residents and environment as they have for 30 years.
TFF is proud to play a lead role in Safer States, a network of diverse environmental health coalitions and organizations in states across the country that share a bold and urgent vision: families, communities, and the environment should be protected from the devastating impacts of our society’s heavy use of chemicals.
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