Unbelievably, hundreds of known toxic chemicals are used to make children’s products without restriction or even basic reporting that would allow parents to make informed decisions about the items they purchase for their family.
Though it will not prevent manufacturers from selling products in New York that contain toxics and known cancer agents, this bill requires the disclosure of the products that contain chemicals that cause severe illnesses.
According to the report New York State’s Children and the Environment by the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai, children’s developing systems and unique mannerisms, such as hand to mouth behavior, leaves them far more susceptible to the harmful effects of smaller amounts of chemicals than adults.
Contact with toxic chemicals can be devastating for children’s health. Leukemia, brain cancer, and other childhood cancers have increased by more than 20-percent since 1975, according to a 2013 report released by the Environmental Protection Agency, America’s Children and the Environment: Measures of contaminants, body burdens, and illness. A 2005 study of industrial chemicals conducted by a non-profit research based organization, the Environmental Working Group, detected 287 chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood, of which 180 cause cancer, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.
In light of the severe and ill-advised limitations contained in federal legislation, this bill is a common sense, right-to-know measure regarding toxic chemicals in children’s products. It sheds light on what children might be exposed to and provides parents and caregivers the information to make more informed decisions.
This bill amends the General Business Law to require disclosure of products that contain toxic chemicals, as defined by the state Health Commissioner.