LOCAL FAMILIES DESERVE TOXIC FREE TOYS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Albany County Legislature Approves Law to Protect Kids from Toxic Toys
(Albany, NY) Less than a month after a major report, Toxic Toys in Albany County, found dangerous chemicals in children’s toys and products in Albany County, the County Legislature voted on legislation Local Law “J” to ban the sale of toys and products containing the most toxic chemicals. The law passed 35-4, enjoying broad bipartisan support. The bill now goes to the County Executive McCoy to be signed.
“Protecting children is one of government’s most vital tasks,” said Albany County Legislator Bryan Clenahan. “In this season of giving, no child’s gifts should contain toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, we’ve see that many toys and other products have dangerous concentrations of substances known to cause illness and disability. That’s why I’m backing the Toxic-Free Toys Act in the County Legislature. It’s our responsibility to keep our kids safe.”
“Time for Albany to get the lead out—and other toxic chemicals—from children’s toys,” said NYPIRG Legislative Counsel Russ Haven. “If states are the laboratories for democracy, then local governments are the engine rooms to drive policy reforms. Albany must not shrink from this opportunity to be a catalyst for improving children’s health and safety in New York.” “As a parent, I look forward to the day when I can walk into a store and know that the things I buy to care for my daughters are safe and healthy,” said Bobbi Chase Wilding, Deputy Director of Clean and Healthy New York. “As an advocate, I’m appalled that we’re not there yet. Toxic chemicals are often added to children’s products, and that’s got to stop. We applaud the Albany County Legislature for passing Local Law J, and urge County Executive McCoy to sign it. Parents like me will flock to Albany County to do their shopping once this bill goes into effect,” Wilding added.
“A lump of coal in your stocking is one thing—but arsenic?” said Christopher Goeken, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations for the New York League of Conservation Voters. “We thank Albany County Legislators for protecting the kids of Albany County from toxic toys this holiday season and beyond.”
“Albany County is showing leadership where the state and federal government have failed: keeping kids safe from toxic toys. Children are at greater risk of toxic chemicals due to their rapid development and increased exposure. This measure is as common-sense as they come, and it recognizes that with all the science and information available today, there is no excuse for allowing toxic chemical companies and toy makers to make a profit off unsuspecting parents and consumers. We applaud County Legislator Bryan Clenahan for sponsoring the bill, and the County Legislature for its leadership in passing the bill. We call on Governor Cuomo and state legislators to also step up to protect kids statewide in 2015,” said Saima Anjam of Environmental Advocates of New York, and an Albany county resident.
“Steps must be taken to reduce children’s exposure to toxins in products. Studies have clearly demonstrated that even very low levels of toxins can affect intellectual abilities and physical development. It is time for everyone to take responsibility to address this alarming situation—we owe it to our children and future generations,” said Francesca Sommer, Executive Director, Learning Disabilities Association of New York State.
The Toxic-Free Toys Act will ban the sale of children’s products containing heavy metals and benzene. Advocates identified twelve such items for sale in the county in a report released last month. Learn more at just-green.org