Issue Date: May 7, 2007
Toxic Toys Legislation
The text box on state legislation regarding the regulation of bisphenol A and phthalates in consumer products is very interesting (C&EN, March 12, page 32). As a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts House of Representatives, I have been working with the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group on this issue. I have filed Massachusetts House Bill No. 259, "An Act to protect children from toxic toys," which is generally identical to California's A.B. 1108 mentioned in the article.
The extent to which these particular chemicals can cause harm in babies and young children seems hard to deny given the solid scientific research backing the connection between these materials and negative health effects in humans. I look forward to this bill's public hearing in the Massachusetts Legislature later this year. I firmly believe that public policy ought to be based on the best available science, and I hope the industry will present its case, as well.
However, I believe the best available science endorses the contention that these chemicals must be regulated and, if the federal government will not take it upon itself to take action in this regard, then it is up to the states to ensure that the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents is protected.
John D. Keenan
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