New York to Force Cleaning Giants to Report Chemicals in Household Cleansers
For the first time, the State of New York will begin requiring household cleaning companies to reveal the chemical ingredients in their products and any health risks they pose.
The move was triggered by public health and environmental advocates, who urged New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation to enforce disclosure requirements dating back more than thirty years. Independent studies show a link between many chemicals commonly found in cleaning products and health effects ranging from nerve damage to hormone disruption. With growing concern about the potential hazards of chemicals in these products, the advocates mounted a campaign pressing the State to uphold consumers’ right to know and begin enforcing the 33-year-old law.
“Full ingredient disclosure is a critical step toward ensuring safer, healthier products,” said Kathy Curtis, policy director from Clean New York. “Consumers around the country will benefit from New York’s leadership.”
Safer Chemicals, Please!
Beware: you may be shocked to learn that toxic chemicals aren’t sitting around passively – they are wreaking havoc with our health and designing a PR campaign for survival! View the funny video Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families created to galvanize public support for Congressional action and have fun with a pretty serious issue. The characters you will meet in the video are cartoons, but the plot is ripped straight from the headlines. Enjoy and please share it with your friends, co-workers and family!
The statistics are startling. Of the 80,000+ chemicals used in commerce, about 62,000 were “grandfathered in” – assumed to be safe for ongoing use – when the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976. Of those chemicals, only 200 have ever been fully tested for their impacts on our health and the environment. Only five chemicals have ever been banned – and none since 1990.
We now have a once in a generation opportunity to change that law. The Toxic Chemical Safety Act of 2010 was introduced in Congress. It aims to protect our families from harmful chemicals by overhauling our outdated chemical laws.
The House of Representatives is poised to act on toxic chemical legislation so your representative needs to hear from you!
We are organizing a call-in week July 19-23, to make sure our Representatives know that we want passage of a strong Toxic Chemical Safety Act. Please take a few minutes to make a call and encourage your friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members to do so as well.
This is our time to make toxic chemicals history! Let’s tell Congress to vote for strong chemical policy reform. Please call your Representative during our call-in week – just follow this link for details.
Child Safe Products Act Gets Bipartisan Support in Senate
After a round of last minute debate, the NYS Child Safe Products Act (S. 7070/A. 10089) passed through the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee yesterday. The bill has nine co-sponsors in the Senate and 51 co-sponsors in the Assembly. It would reduce the use of toxic chemicals in children’s products where safer alternatives are available, and provides a comprehensive framework for addressing the issue of toxic chemicals in children’s products. 27 environmental health and justice groups have submitted memos supporting the legislation.
Sarah Beatty, founder and President of NY City business Green Depot, gave compelling testimony before the committee. Dr. David Carpenter, SUNY Albany, and Stephen Boese, Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of NYS submitted testimony, read by Cecil Corbin-Mark, WE ACT, and Kathy Curtis, Clean New York. The Toy Industry Association, the American Chemistry Council and the Grocery Manufacturers Association also spoke in opposition, and there were a good number of opposition lobbyists in the room.
During the debate, bill sponsor Senator Perkins proved to be a committed champion for the issue. He held his position despite repeated requests from Senator Marcellino to hold the bill in committee to make corrections and strengthen the bill. Holding his ground, Senator Perkins thanked Senator Marcellino for his support of the bill’s purpose and offer to help improve it, but stated he saw no reason to hold the bill. After a few tense moments, a vote was called and S7070 passed 11-3. Our substantial efforts to build bipartisan support for protecting children’s health paid off; three Republican Senators were among those in voting in support of the bill.
The bill was referred to the Codes Committee, where it is expected to be on the agenda for the June 1st meeting. Moving forward, Clean New York and our partners will continue to work to build and broaden support for protecting our families from toxic chemicals.