Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lawmakers take aim at more toxic toys

Doctors, moms, lawmakers and the Washington Toxics Coalition joined forces at a press conference this morning to announce good news and bad news on infant and children’s products.
The bad news is that a new study of Hidden Hazards in the Nursery found high levels of toxic flame retardants in a jaw-dropping 85 percent of 20 popular children’s products that were tested recently—including nursing pillows, car seats, and changing pads.
The worst culprit was “chlorinated tris,” a carcinogen that has also been linked to DNA mutation, hormone disruption and other health problems. Even though this toxic threat was removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970’s, it was found in high concentrations in 80 percent of the products tested in the new study!
As a mom of a 4-year-old in Olympia put it, “It’s frustrating to find out the products my kids use contain harmful chemicals and that the government allows it.
But there is also good news:  Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson and Sen. Sharon Nelson announced at the press conference that they are proposing the Toxic-Free Kids Act (HB 2266 and SB 6120) to ban toxic tris flame retardants from children’s products sold in Washington. After all, safe alternatives are readily available. Their bills would also prevent manufacturers from substituting untested and potentially dangerous alternatives to tris in their products.
As Dickerson said at the press conference, “Parents shouldn’t have to be chemists to know their children are safe from dangerous chemicals in children’s products.” That’s the philosophy that made Washington a national leader in protecting kids from toxic toys, and it is the reason why Washington’s leadership is needed to protect children again.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.