ALBANY, NY- In a lobby day action, community organization WE ACT for environmental justice and their coalition partners redoubled their efforts to get the state senate to act on the long debated child safe products act.
Over 30 concerned parents and supporters traveled with WE ACT from Harlem, New York to the state’s capitol. One of those parents was WE ACT member Diane Lane Hymans, who is so passionate about the bill she took off from work to be in attendance saying;
“We know for a fact that there are dangerous chemicals in the products that we purchase from these stores. Why would we allow that to continue, our children need to be safe, and that can’t happen if we don’t pass the bill”
The bill, if passed, would accomplish the following:
Identify chemicals of high concern
Create a priority list of chemicals of high concern found in children’s products.
Require manufacturers to disclose the use of these priority chemicals in children’s products, and alert retailers to their presence.
Phase out the most dangerous chemicals in children’s products with a certain priority date of January 1, 2018
This legislation would also allow the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to have the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse collect, manage, and publish the data collected from manufacturers, effectively strengthening the database of knowledge on harmful child products.
WE ACT functions as a co-founding member of the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families (SCHF) Campaign with Just Transition Alliance and Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice. The SCHF Campaign prioritizes the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) which, despite being enacted in 1976, allowed the amount of dangerous chemicals to remain on the market to reach 82,000 between 1976 to 2010. The Child Safe Products Act is a method of reforming the TSCA.
Chemicals of concern include benzene, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cadmium and cobalt. A number of these chemicals are proven carcinogens and have been linked to harming the lungs, kidney, and liver. Neurological issues linked with these chemicals include cognitive deficits, lower IQ scores, negative impact on hearing and speech, and decreased motor function and memory. Further, diseases linked with these chemicals include type II diabetes, leukemia, asthma, lung cancer, chronic beryllium disease, and uterine cancer.