Issue Date: April 7, 2008
Washington state Restricts Phthalates
Under a so-called "toxic toys" measure signed into law last week by Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, thousands of toys that do not meet stricter standards for allowable levels of phthalates, lead, and cadmium in children's products will be banned in the state as of July 2009. Gregoire said a barrage of recalls in 2007 showed that the federal standards for toy safety are inadequate. The new law limits concentrations of six specific phthalates to less than 1,000 ppm, an action the chemical industry says is unnecessary. "There is no reliable evidence that phthalates have ever caused any harm to any human in more than 50 years of use," says Sharon Kneiss, vice president of the American Chemistry Council's Products Divisions. She says it is not practical or advisable to regulate phthalates at the state or local level. "The Consumer Product Safety Commission has already determined that vinyl products containing phthalates designed for use by children have no demonstrated health risk," Kneiss remarks. New York, Maine, and Illinois are also considering stronger toy safety rules.
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