Chemicals of Concern In Children’s Products
In 2015 the Oregon legislature passed the Toxic Free Kids Act. The law requires manufacturers who make children’s products to report when their products contain toxic chemicals that are scientifically linked to health impacts in kids.
Three years later, we finally have a glimpse into the range of toxic chemicals in kid’s products. Manufacturers were required to report to the Oregon Health Authority for the first time by January 1, 2018.
More than 4,000 reports to the Oregon Health Authority show that toys, clothes, crafts, bedding, baby gear sold in Oregon in 2017 contain more than 50 different chemical ingredients that are scientifically linked to health impacts in kids. It’s not currently possible to search the data for chemicals of concern in a specific product. However, Oregon Health Authority and other state agencies are working with the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse to make that kind of search possible in the future.
Now that manufacturers have started reporting, the next step under the Toxic Free Kids Act is to begin replacing those chemicals with proven safer alternatives.
Federal law doesn’t require manufacturers to tell consumers when toxic chemicals are in products made for kids. Oregon and other states are working to fill the gaps, helping us understand how our kids may be exposed to toxic chemicals in their daily lives. Chemicals of concern in children’s products is an important potential source of exposure, but not the only one. These kinds of toxic chemicals are found in a wide variety of products. That’s why we need public health laws that protect our right to know what’s in the products we buy.