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Children’s Product Makers Report Over 5000 Products Contain Toxic Chemicals Of Concern To Kids’ Health

As Oregon Lawmakers Consider A Toxics Disclosure Law, Washington State Reveals Critical Information On Toxics in Children’s Products

Reports reveal 41 toxic chemicals in 5000 children's products on the shelves today.

May 01, 2013

Portland, OR – Manufacturers' reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) reveal a total of 41 toxic chemicals of concern to children’s health currently used in children’s products.    

Over 5000 children’s products contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive problems. Major manufacturers, including major retailers such as Walmart who manufacture their own brand of products, must report on toxic chemicals present in their children’s products. 

An analysis prepared by Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States is based on data gathered under Washington State’s Children’s Safe Products Act of 2008. The reports cover certain children’s products sold in Washington State from June 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013.

Oregon lawmakers are now considering a similar measure: the Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act, HB3162. Oregon’s proposed law would require major companies making children’s products to report the presence of 19 chemicals identified to be of greatest concern to children’s health, and to replace those chemicals with safer alternatives.

Washington data suggests that more than 800 products contain one of the 19 chemicals of concern proposed for disclosure under Oregon’s bill. 

These chemicals of concern include toxic metals such as cadmium and mercury, and organic compounds such as phthalates. 

Examples of product categories reported to contain toxic chemicals include:

  • Hallmark brand party hats containing cancer-causing arsenic.
  • Claire’s brand cosmetics containing cancer-causing formaldehyde.
  • Walmart brand  infant bedding containing hormone-disrupting phthalates.

“These reports are critical for understanding the presence of toxic chemicals. Yet to truly protect children, manufacturers need to identify safer ways to make their products and stop using harmful chemicals,” said Erika Schreder, science director for the Washington Toxics Coalition.

Oregon’s Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act takes a step forward from Washington’s law, requiring children’s product manufacturers to seek safer alternatives to replace toxics in their products.

 “Truly innovative companies have already found ways to eliminate toxics in their products,” said Sarah Petras, Environmental Health Program Director for Oregon Environmental Council. “It’s time for major manufacturers to follow their lead, come clean on what they’re selling in Oregon and strive for safer alternatives.”

“The Washington experience shows these reporting programs can work without being too burdensome on business,” said Sarah Doll, Director of Safer States. “At least seven additional states are considering implementing similar programs on the extent of chemical use in children’s products in their state. Critical in these proposals are requirements that companies begin looking at safer ways to make their products and an eventual phase-out of the use of harmful chemicals.”   

See a full analysis of Washington State’s chemical use reports.

See a searchable database of chemical use reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology.

More information about HB3162, the Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act, is available at www.oeconline.org/toxicfree 

ATTENTION REPORTERS: Interviews are available upon request. Please contact Sarah Petras, 503-222-1963 x110 or sarahp@oeconline.org

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The Washington Toxics Coalition is a nonprofit organization that works to protect public health and the environment from toxic chemicals in Washington state.   www.watoxics.org,  http://www.facebook.com/watoxics or  http://www.twitter.com/wa_toxics 

Safer States (The State Alliance for Federal Reform (SAFER) of Chemical Policy) is a coalition of state-based organizations championing solutions to protect public health and communities from toxic chemicals. http://www.saferstates.org or  http://www.facebook.com/saferstates 

 

Oregon Environmental Council is a non-profit, member-supported organization. Since 1968, OEC has advanced innovative, collaborative solutions to Oregon’s environmental challenges for today and future generations.  http://www.oeconline.org/toxicfree or www.facebook.com/bpafreeoregon

 

 

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