Under a new law implemented by the Washington State Department of Ecology and Health to comply with the requirements of the state Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA), large manufacturers of children's products likely to be placed in a child’s mouth or on their skin, or products for children age 3 and under, must report first will be required to report any chemicals deemed high priority are present in their products. Smaller companies will be phased into the program over the next several years and retailers who sell, but don't manufacturer products will be exempt.
How High Priority Chemicals Were Chosen
With as many as 80,000 chemicals in use today, the Department of Ecology determined that the chemicals to be included in the list should be documented as toxic by a state or federal agency, accredited research university, or by other scientific evidence deemed authoritative based on credible studies indicating the following effects:
- Harm the normal development of a baby or child, or cause other developmental toxicity
- Cause cancer, genetic damage, or reproductive harm
- Disrupt the endocrine system
- Damage the nervous system, immune system, or organs or cause other systemic toxicity
- Be persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, or
- Be very persistent and very bioaccumulative
Some Common Chemicals Included in the List
- Vinyl chloride
Labeling is a Step in the Right Direction
As we know from watching the constant struggle with BPA over the last several years, legislation is a slow and arduous process. Parents are left worrying about what endocrine disrupting or carcinogenic chemicals may be lurking in their developing children's toys and skincare. Public access to information about ingredients in specific products is the perfect step in the right direction, allowing parents to at least make informed decisions about what products they buy.
Like I've always said, you shouldn't have to be a rocket scientist to choose safer products for the health of your child! Knowing what materials are present in a product will go a long way to empowering parents to speak out with their dollars. As the Washington Department of Ecology said, the rule is the first step in making children's products safer. And I agree.