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Policy

States Consider Chemical Legislation

by Cheryl Hogue
January 30, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 5

Legislation to reduce exposure to certain chemicals in consumer products is on the 2012 agenda for lawmakers in 28 states, according to an analysis by Safer States, a coalition of environmental groups. Four state legislatures are considering bans on chlorinated trisphosphate chemicals, which are used as flame retardants. One of these compounds, tris(1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate, was removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because of concerns over its mutagenicity. But this chemical was detected recently in baby products. Bills to phase out use of these compounds are pending in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and Washington, according to Safer States. Meanwhile, legislatures in 20 states are considering restrictions on bis­phenol A, a substance that mimics ­estrogen, in products such as receipt paper and the lining of cans for infant formula. Bills are also pending in 13 states that would require public agencies to identify “chemicals of concern.” Some of these measures would require manufacturers of consumer products to disclose the identity of ingredients, the analysis says.

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