Toxic Toys Scrutinized Under Washington State Law

Toxic Toys Scrutinized Under Washington State Law

Washington State's Department of Ecology launched at the end of January its pilot project to begin requiring manufacturers to disclose toxic ingredients in toys and other children's products.

The project launched with the publication of 66 chemicals that will fall under the scope of the Children's Safe Product Act (CSPA), signed into law in April 2008. With the publication of the chemicals list, lawmakers and manufacturers will work together to develop the most effective way to implement reporting requirements.

Once the pilot project is completed, the CSPA will require manufacturers to disclose whether any products intended for use by children contain any of these chemicals. The 66 chemicals currently on the list have been identified as toxic, present in human tissue, and present in children's toys.

"We're taking a thoughtful, practical, common-sense approach that is workable to all parties involved," Ted Sturdevant, the director of the Department of Ecology, said in a statement. "Reporting on the use of toxic chemicals is the first step toward getting safer products for children. Reports under this law will help policy makers decide if further actions are needed."

The CSPA was originally the second part of a two-part law; the first section put in place limits on the amount of lead, cadmium and phthalates that were permissible in children's products sold in the state of Washington. That law was superseded by the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, passed by the federal government in July 2008.

The pilot project was launched one day before the Washington state Senate passed a ban on the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in children's cups and bottles; that law is expected to be signed into law this year, and follows on the federal Food and Drug Administration's concerns about the use of BPA in consumer products.

Photo CC-licensed by Flickr user gochie*.