Washington State passes Children’s Safe Products Act !!!

Washington state has passed the most stringent toy standards in the nation. The Children’s Safe Products Act regulates lead (90ppm – .0009% by weight), phthalates (1000ppm – 01% by weight), cadmium (40ppm – .0004% by weight), in most toys, children’s cosmetics, jewelry and car seats. Manufacturers who ignore the regulations will be fined – up to $5000 per violation on the first offense and up to $10,000 thereafter!

Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed some portions of the bill. One would have required the state to set up a website with information on dangerous chemicals in children’s products and their (safer) alternatives. The Department of Ecology also no longer has a deadline to come up with a list of chemicals which pose the greatest threats to children, nor do manufactures have a deadline to file notices indicating which products contain them. He also, bizarrely eliminated the introduction which stated in part that exposure to certain metals and plasticizers are “linked to long-term health impacts, such as birth defects, reproductive harm, impaired learning, liver toxicity and cancer.”

Additionally the Department of Ecology has been instructed to prepare rules clarifying that the bill does not apply to internal electronic components that are inaccessible (chip boards, wiring, etc), determine how Washington will fit in with national, international and other state standards so that the standards can protect the most children possible, and to draw up a list of potential chemical hazards in children’s products.

All in all its not a perfect bill, but I think it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully more states and eventually the federal government will follow suit to protect our children from such dangerous chemicals. New York, Maine, Illinois and other states have stronger toy safety rules in the works.



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