What We Want

Children’s Environmental Health Agenda

Children are uniquely susceptible to toxic chemicals, and rising rates of childhood diseases and disorders of environmental origin tell a chilling tale: asthma has tripled, learning disabilities and related neurological disorders affect one in seven children, and autism has increased dramatically, affecting one child out of 88. Childhood cancer rates are steadily rising. The cost to New York State runs an estimated $4.35 billion each year. Action to reduce these diseases pays dividends and has positive ripple effects throughout society. The JustGreen Partnership supports a Children’s Environmental Health Agenda to turn the tide and protect the health of New York’s most vulnerable residents.

New York State’s Laws Must Protect Children’s Health

The Child Safe Products Act (S. 4614/A. 6328) Toxic chemicals have no business in children’s products like toys, clothing, or car seats. Yet product makers have reported more than 5,000 types of kids’ products that contain dangerous chemicals. New York must act to protect children’s health with a comprehensive approach, modeled after effective policies in other states and countries, and containing the following elements:

  • Identify chemicals of high concern based on their inherent hazards;
  • Create a priority list of chemicals of high concern found in children’s products;
  • Require manufacturers to disclose use of priority chemicals in children’s products;
  • Phase out those priority chemicals in children’s products;
  • Participate in an interstate chemicals clearinghouse (IC2).

Read our memo in support of the bill.
Learn more about the bill.

Green Schools New York (S. 5113/A. 3676) 98% of children are in school buildings for at least seven hours a day. Materials used to build and maintain these buildings often contain harmful chemicals. New York State needs to require all school construction in the state to meet the NY Collaborative for Healthy and High Performance Schools (NY-CHPS) standards, as has been required in New York City since 2005.

New York State’s Budget Must Protect Children’s Health

Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) To effectively and efficiently implement the Child Safe Products Act, New York contributes funds to and provides leadership in this collaborative effort among ten states to compile and share information about chemical hazard and use, as well as availability of safer alternatives. The IC2 needs its own line item in the Environmental Protection Fund budget, instead of being included in funding for the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute.

Fund Lead Poisoning Prevention through a Lead Paint Surcharge Though children’s blood-lead levels have dropped overall, many children in specific communities continue to be diagnosed with lead poisoning. At the same time, funding for lead poisoning prevention strategies has dropped off sharply. New York must restore funding to prevent further childhood lead poisoning and help children already affected, by instituting a 25¢ surcharge on paint manufacturers for each gallon of paint sold in the state – as Maine has done.

Children’s Environmental Health Centers (A. 7885/S.6166) New York needs to reinstate funds for Centers of Excellence in Children’s Environmental Health to reduce the burden of disease of environmental origin. The Centers provide a clinical setting for outreach and education, treatment, referrals, and research that prioritizes prevention. Doctors and parents across the state must have access to information regarding connections between symptoms of children in their care and environmental exposures. It is imperative to restore $1,000,000 in funding to support Centers of Excellence at seven facilities across the state.

Toxic Chemicals Don’t Belong in Children – or Their Toys

Pass the Child Safe Products Act TODAY

 S4614 Boyle ● A6328 Sweeney

Dangerous chemicals are everywhere

  • Thousands of chemicals can be found in everyday products. There is no requirement that these chemicals are safe.
  • More than 5,000 types of kids’ products have been identified that contain dangerous chemicals under the new reporting requirements in Washington State.
  • Toxic chemicals get into the bodies of children and even newborns.

Chemical harm our children

  • Developing babies and young children are more susceptible to the effects of toxic chemicals.
  • Learning disabilities and related neurological disorders affect one in seven children and autism affects one out of 88 children. We know that certain chemicals can cause neurological disorders.
  • Leukemia increased by 62% and brain cancer increased by 39% since 1973 and asthma incidence and mortality have more than doubled since 1991.
  • It is estimated that 28% of these disorders are due to direct toxic environment exposure or combinations of exposures with genetic susceptibility.

New York businesses pay the price

Families want products that they can trust are safe and healthy for their children.

  • Poor childhood health caused by preventable environmental factors cost New York an estimated $4.35 billion each year in health care costs.
  • More and more businesses are supporting stronger chemical laws, which not only make families safer, but also help businesses restore faith in the American market.
  • 73% of businesses support government regulations to ensure the products that companies buy and sell are non-toxic.

— 2012 poll by the American Sustainable Business Council

What the Child Safe Products Act does

  • The act requires the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to publish a list of chemicals of high concern.
  • From the list of chemicals of high concern, a list of nine priority chemicals of high concern are identified. If these chemicals are found in children’s products, the use of these chemicals will be reported to the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) and ultimately phased out.
  • This legislation is modeled after successful legislation in other states including Maine and Washington. Feb 2014