Coalition Commends NY State Assembly for Passing the Child Safe Products Act; Calls on Senate to Follow Suit

ALBANY, NY— Community groups throughout the state are praising the New York State Assembly for easily passing the Child Safe Products Act (CSPA), a bill that phases out dangerous chemicals in products marketed to kids in New York, by a wide bipartisan margin of 112 yeas and 29 nays.

CSPA, first introduced by Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) last month, now must pass the Senate and be signed by the Governor to become law. The bill would require the state to publish a list of toxic chemicals, require disclosure of their use in children’s products, and ultimately ban their use over time.

“Children are more sensitive to and are at an increased risk from chemical exposure. Currently, New York prohibits the use of dangerous chemicals on a chemical-by-chemical basis.  The Presidents’ Cancer Panel reported that nearly 80,000 chemicals are used in the country today, many of which are unstudied and largely unregulated. We must act to protect children’s health from unnecessary toxic chemicals found in products designed for kids.  It’s time to put health concerns first,” said Assemblyman Steve Englebright.

Senator Phil Boyle, sponsor of the matching legislation, said “I applaud the Assembly’s passage today of the Child Safe Product Act with broad bipartisan support.  As more legislators across the political spectrum see the importance of protecting our children against toxic chemicals, I urge even more of my Senate colleagues to support this important legislation.”

The JustGreen Partnership, which includes pediatricians, teachers, nurses, environmental and sustainability groups, learning disability, breast and childhood cancer advocates, healthy schools advocates, sustainable businesses, environmental justice leaders, and other allied organizations, is also optimistic about the bill as it reaches the State Senate.

“Tough, tenacious, together. Working with coalitions like the JustGreen Partnership and the New York State Breast Cancer Network, we will witness the Child Safe Products Act pass into law,” said Karen Joy Miller, from Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, Inc.

“We applaud the NYS Assembly and bill sponsor Steve Englebright for taking action to help business leaders across the state meet consumer demand for safer products,” said Laura Ornstein, Coordinator of the New York State Sustainable Business Council. “As more than half the Senate supports the matching bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Boyle, we call on the Senate Leadership to bring the Child Safe Products Act to the floor for a vote.”

“Moms applaud the bipartisan support for the Child Safe Products Act,” states Trisha Sheehan, Regional Field Manager for Moms Clean Air Force.  “Protecting our children from toxic chemicals is not a partisan issue. We all care about children’s health and keeping toxic chemicals out of their products should be on everyone’s agenda.”

“New Yorkers are counting on the State Legislature to protect our children from toxic chemicals in the toys they play with and the products they use,” said John Replogle, President & CEO of Seventh Generation. “We commend Assembly Member Steven Englebright and his colleagues for passing the Child Safe Products Act. We are hopeful that the State Senate will follow the Assembly’s example, and will swiftly pass the CSPA, keeping children across the state as safe as possible for generations to come.”

“Assembly passage of the Child Safe Products Act was a nice Earth Day gift to all parents across New York State,” said Kathy Curtis, executive director of Clean and Healthy New York and co-leader of the JustGreen Partnership. “But more must be done. It’s still legal and common practice to add toxic chemicals to infant’s and children’s products. To make the dream of safe products for all children a reality, the Senate must pass this initiative and deliver it to the Governor,” Curtis added.

“We commend the action of the New York State Assembly, who have already done what is necessary to protect the health and safety of our children now and for future generations,” said Francesca Sommer, Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of New York State. “We urge the Senate to take similar action!”

“This is a game-changing advance for children,” said Claire Barnett, founder and executive director of the Healthy Schools Network, Inc. “We are grateful to the Assembly and look forward to Senate action.”

“The NYS Assembly continues to demonstrate their commitment to protecting New York’s children and the environment by passing A.5612, the Child Safe Products Act,” said Caitlin Pixley, Conservation Associate of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “This important legislation works to ensure a toxic-free future. Whether during production, consumption, or disposal, toxic chemicals get into our air, water, wildlife and natural places. We thank Assemblyman Englebright and the many other Assembly members who voted “Yes”, especially on the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. We now look to the NYS Senate to take up this issue and bring the Child Safe Products Act to the floor.”

In addition to the state legislative campaign, counties across New York are also taking action and introducing local legislation. In 2015, 28 states are expected to advance policies to protect the public from toxic chemicals.  Eleven other states are considering policies similar to New York’s Child Safe Products Act.

 

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Elected Officials Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Children from Toxic Chemicals

Child Safe Products Act Would Require New York to Report, and Ultimately Ban, Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products

ALBANY, NY— Today, Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-East Setauket) announced the introduction of a bill that would empower New York State to identify and phase out dangerous chemicals in products marketed to kids in New York.

If enacted, the bill [S.4102/A.5612], commonly known as the Child Safe Products Act, would first establish a list of high-concern chemicals, based on authoritative scientific evidence that the chemicals cause major health problems. Next, it would establish a list of priority chemicals used in children’s products for disclosure. Children’s product makers would be required after a year to report their use of priority chemicals in their merchandise, and then phase out their use three years later.

Unless the bill is passed, thousands of toxic children’s products will remain on the shelves, tainted by chemicals like arsenic, mercury, cadmium, formaldehyde and cobalt. The toxic chemicals in children’s products have been linked to a host of serious medical problems including cancer, learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive problems, and asthma. Until the bill is enacted, New York children remain at risk.

Senator Phil Boyle, (R-Bay Shore), lead sponsor of S. 4102, said, “Protecting children from toxic chemicals is just common sense. Despite market advancements and announcements by major retailers, voluntary measures just don’t get us there. It’s up to us, as elected officials, to take action to protect our own residents.  I thank my colleague Assemblyman Englebright for introducing the Child Safe Products Act, and I am committed to seeing it enacted in 2015.”

“Children are not just small adults and their developing systems are more sensitive to and are at an increased risk of chemical exposure,” said Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright (D-East Setauket). “Currently, New York prohibits the use of dangerous chemicals on a chemical-by-chemical basis.  The President’s Cancer Panel reported that nearly 80,000 chemicals are used in the country today, many of which are unstudied and largely unregulated. We need to act now to protect our children’s health and the environment from unnecessary toxic chemicals found in products designed for them.”

The reintroduction of the bill has generated significant support from the public, including the JustGreen Partnership, a coalition of pediatricians, environmental groups, environmental justice leaders, learning disability advocates, parent organizations, healthy schools advocates, sustainable companies and other members of the community.

“Each year, diseases of environmental origin in New York’s children cost an estimated $4.35 billion.  These include learning and developmental disabilities, cancer, and asthma.  Such diseases are preventable, by protecting children from the chemicals that cause them,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc., pediatrician and epidemiologist at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. “The Child Safe Products Act is an important part of this prevention process.”

“We must protect our children from exposure to dangerous chemicals in products meant for them. Many of these chemicals cause a reduction in a child’s brain function and behavior and can alter later reproduction,”  said Dr. David O. Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health & Environment at SUNY Albany.

“Our brothers and sisters across the country are facing alarming rates of cancers, and we need the federal government and our decision-makers at the state level to take notice and help us come up with solutions,” said Mike McManus, president, New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association. “Chemicals should be proven safe before ending up in our homes and building materials, to protect the health of Fire Fighters and families,” McManus added.

“The New York State Breast Cancer Network urges the passage of the Child Safe Products Act. Several national researchers have found that exposure to tiny amounts of estrogen-mimicking chemicals during particular ‘windows of susceptibility’, such as the pre-natal, neo-natal and pre-adolescent periods, will place female babies and girls under 12-years old at risk for breast cancer in their adult lives.” said Andi Gladstone, Executive Director of the New York State Breast Cancer Network.

“We commend the actions of our elected officials, on the local, state and county level who have already done what is necessary to protect the health and safety of our children now and for future generations,” said Francesca Sommer, Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of New York State. “We urge those who have not yet done so, to join us!”

“As moms, we may differ in our approaches to parenting, our career choices, or our politics, but we can all agree that toxic chemicals do not belong in our children’s toys and products,” said Mitzi Rose, Moms for a Non-Toxic NY, Rochester chapter.

“Independent business owners need the clarity that good regulations can provide,” said Laura Ornstein, Coordinator of the New York State Sustainable Business Council. “Better regulatory oversight of chemicals will level the playing field by improving transparency, limiting liability, and reducing exposures.”

“Pregnant women, infants and children are especially vulnerable to the health impacts of toxic chemical exposure”, states Trisha Sheehan, Moms Clean Air Force Regional Field Manager. “The Child Safe Products Act is a step in the right direction to protect the families of New York from toxic chemicals. Moms should be able to trust that the products we use in our homes will not harm our children. We want strong policies that will limit our families’ exposures to toxic chemicals.”

“Toxic chemicals have absolutely no place in the homes and schools of our children,” said John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation, the nation’s leading brand of non-toxic and renewable bio-based household, baby and personal care solutions. “Our mission is to nurture the health of future generations, and with the introduction, and hopefully the passing of CSPA, we can see our mission through on behalf of New York’s children.”

“Time is of the essence in getting this common sense legislation passed into law,” stated Senate EnCon Committee Vice-Chair Tony Avella. “”Our children’s safety is of the utmost importance and it is our responsibility, as Legislators, to safeguard children’s toys across the state. That is why I immediately signed onto the Child Safe Products Act as a co-sponsor.  I urge my colleagues in the State Senate to vote in favor of this vital bill.”

“We need a more comprehensive approach regulating chemicals used in the manufacture of children’s toys in New York.  It’s our responsibility to ensure that our kids’ playthings do not pose serious health risks.  The effects of these chemicals in small doses can be extremely dangerous to young developing children.  Let’s pass the Child Safe Products Act this year,” said Felix W. Ortiz, Assistant Speaker in the NYS Assembly.

“New York’s parents deserve to know what is safe for their families, but right now they’re flying blind, said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York and co-leader of the JustGreen Partnership. “Meanwhile, it’s legal and common practice to add toxic chemicals to infant’s and children’s products. To make the dream of safe products for all children a reality, the Legislature must pass this initiative and deliver it to the Governor,” Curtis added.

“Environmental Advocates of New York applauds Senator Boyle and Assemblyman Englebright for introducing the ‘Child-safe Products Act’,” said Saima Anjam, Environmental Health Director. “With the Legislature and the Governor in agreement on the need to protect our children from toxic chemicals, there is no excuse for this common sense legislation to not become law in 2015.”

“Toxic chemicals do not belong in our air or our water, and they certainly do not belong in the products children use every day,” said Caitlin Pixley, Conservation Association of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “New Yorkers deserve a toxic-free future and we look to the Legislature for leadership on this issue, through passage of the Child Safe Products Act.”

“In the communities that we work in, families do not have the time or the finances to bypass all of the toxic products on store shelves,” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director of WE ACT For Environmental Justice and Co-Leader of the JustGreen Partnership. “With this bill, parents from Harlem to the west side of Buffalo can rest assured that the State of New York is on the job helping to protect their children from dangerous chemicals.”

“The alarming findings of recent reports in Albany, Westchester, and Long Island have confirmed that action is needed to protect the health of New York’s families,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Toxic chemicals have no place in children’s toys, and they should not be on store shelves for sale. Parents deserve the right to know what dangers are lurking in the products they bring home so they can make informed decisions about their families’ health.”

In addition to the state legislative campaign, counties across New York are also taking action and introducing local legislation called the Toxic-Free Toys Act. Today and tomorrow, Westchester and Suffolk counties will hold public hearings on the issue.  In 2015, 28 states are expected to advance policies to protect the public from toxic chemicals.  Eleven other states are considering policies similar to New York’s Child Safe Products Act.

Learn more about state actions at: http://www.saferstates.org/news/2015map/

Advocates Applaud Historic Vote in Senate on Child Safe Products Act

 Urge Rapid Advancement to Reach Floor this Session

(Albany) In its final meeting of the year, the New York State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee voted unanimously to advance the Child Safe Products Act to the Finance Committee, the first time a Senate committee has taken such a vote on the bill.

This bill has tremendous support with 37 of 61 Senators signed on as co-sponsors, and the enthusiastic support from all five IDC members. Forty seven business, health professional, health-affected, children’s, labor and environmental organizations have submitted memos in support, and more are arriving daily.

“What are we waiting for? Today’s unanimous vote shows that the Child Safe Products Act has the momentum it needs to get to the floor for a vote,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York and Co-leader of Just Green Partnership. “Thanks to Senator Boyle for his leadership in protecting children from the dangers of toxic chemical exposure.”

The bill acts to protect children from toxic chemicals by declaring a list of chemicals of concern, establishing a priority list of nine chemicals, requiring manufacturers to disclose priority chemicals in children’s products, and phasing out their use.

Senator Phil Boyle, (R-Bay Shore), lead sponsor of S. 4614 said, “This is not a controversial issue. Protecting children from toxic chemicals is just common sense. I thank my colleagues for advancing the Child Safe Products Act, and am committed to seeing it reach the Senate floor for a full vote.”

Laura Neiderhofer of the New York State Sustainable Business Council said, “New York State business leaders are concerned about the health and business impacts that can arise if the products they use or sell contain toxic chemicals. Now we are one step closer to passing the Child Safe Products Act, which will drive the marketplace towards safer solutions, support companies that make safer products, and restore consumer confidence. Having passed the Assembly three years in a row now, we are looking to the New York State Senate leadership to ensure it passes this session.”

“Passage of the Child Safe Products Act without a single no vote from any member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee is a good first step, but to protect children in our most vulnerable communities the Senate needs to bring up this bill and pass it. WE ACT thanks Chairman Grisanti, Vice Chair Avella, and committee members Senators Serrano and Espaillat of Harlem and Washington Heights for their hard work. Let’s finish the job to protect kids,” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director of WE ACT and Co-leader of Just Green Partnership.

Michael Helman, Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Western New York said, “Our deepest thanks to Senator Grisanti for moving forward the Child Safe Products Act. This is a crucial step towards enacting legislation that will safeguard our children from toxic chemicals. The bill provides a comprehensive framework for addressing the issue of toxic chemicals in children’s products, and the New York State Senate leadership should take the next step and allow the bill to be considered by the full senate.  We have the utmost confidence that this will occur because no responsible party would turn a blind eye towards New York State’s most valuable asset, our children.”

“With today’s senate committee vote, The Child Safe Products Act takes its first step towards passage and protecting the children of New York from the exposure of toxic chemicals,” said Caitlin Pixley, Conservation Associate with the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “In order to ensure this bill becomes law, it is now up to Senate leadership to act. We continue to thank Senator Boyle for his sponsorship and Senator Avella in working to move S.4614.”

“It’s simply common sense that products intended for our children should be safe before they are allowed on store shelves. New York’s children deserve safe products made without chemicals that can make them sick,” said Ansje Miller, Eastern States Director of the Center for Environmental Health.

“As Long Islanders, we have enjoyed a long history of advancing laws that protect our children and our families from environmental chemicals that cause illness. We call on each and every one of our elected Long Island representatives to support The Child Safe Products Act as it moves forward to a vote,” said Karen Joy Miller of the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition.

“We’re pleased this common sense legislation was approved by the Senate environment committee,” said Saima Anjam of Environmental Advocates of New York. “But the leaders of the Senate need to bring the bill before the full body for a vote. Parents deserve to know if products contain dangerous chemicals. Our kids deserve a vote.”

“To put it simply, children and toxic chemicals do not mix,” said New York League of Conservation Voters President Marcia Bystryn. “Today, the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee stood up for New York families by approving common sense legislation that will help address longstanding concerns about dangerous chemicals in children’s toys and products. We applaud members of the committee for their support and we look forward to the Senate leadership bringing this legislation to the floor for a vote as soon as possible.”

Nine Senators voted for the bill with an unqualified “yes” – Senators LaValle, Marcellino, Young, Avella, Espaillat, Latimer, O’Brien, Serrano, and Tkaczyk.  Four voted yes without recommendation – Senators Grisanti, Little, Maziarz, and O’Mara.

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