Children of color are disproportionately exposed to toxic chemicals such as arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, mercury and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Researchers have linked these and other toxic chemicals found in children’s toys and essential products to cancer, learning disorders, genetic anomalies, hyperactivity, developmental delays, and asthma.
These tainted children’s products are sold at stores in Central Harlem, East Harlem, Inwood, Washington Heights, and around our state. We can’t reduce our children’s exposure to this environmental harm by shopping outside of our community or buying more expensive items. We need strong enforcement of existing laws and passage of new legislation.
The Child Safe Products Act, sponsored by New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky and New York State Assemblymember Steve Englebright, creates a framework for protecting children by requiring product makers to disclose chemicals of concern and restricting some of the most harmful. This is a fight we have been heavily involved in for years. And along with our colleagues in the JustGreen Partnership, we support this step in ensuring that we build healthy communities for our children.
The bill passed both houses of the legislature and requires New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s signature to become a law. He has demonstrated his commitment to children’s environmental health and this bill is in alignment with previous stances. If you are a resident of New York State, you can let Governor Cuomo know the Child Safe Products Act is legislation that you support by reaching out to him here: Email Governor Cuomo.
Together, we can turn off the tap on toxic chemicals, and make New York the healthiest state for all families!