In the wake of states and counties passing legislation banning the sale of certain children’s products, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is calling for a federal approach that would establish a consistent, nationwide approach to chemicals regulation that would preempt state laws.
Last Thursday, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that expands the ban on the sale of products containing TRIS, a cancer-causing chemical used as a flame retardant.
“No parent should have to second guess whether the toy or car seat they buy for their child is safe,” Governor Cuomo says. “This new law will not only provide additional protections for young children, it gives peace of mind to parents who will now know that common childcare products purchased in New York will not contain this dangerous chemical.”
This new law, A4741/S3703-B, expands the definition of TRIS to include an additional chemical, TDCPP (Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate), from being used in toys, baby products, and other consumer child care products, including items intended for children under three years of age. Alternative flame retardants are available as a substitute for TRIS.
The new law builds upon legislation Governor Cuomo signed in 2011, which expanded the number of prohibited flame retardant chemicals.
According to the Toy Industry Association (TIA), bills moving through the legislative process could have a damaging impact on toy companies with business operations in Vermont and Connecticut.
TIA referred specifically to Vermont Senate Bill 239 and Connecticut House Bill 5354 and Senate Bill 126, which would result in lists of products containing certain “chemicals of concern” and additional testing costs for toy companies. The companies would have to report and publicly list any products containing the identified chemicals.
TIA is calling for toy companies and their employees to file pre-formatted letters (which can be found here for Vermont, and here for Connecticut) to their state representatives and senators to support TIA lobbying efforts. Companies must submit their contact information and edit the second paragraph of each letter to provide company-specific information. For more information, contact Andy Hackman at (202) 570-8526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.