February 7, 2020

Today, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Safe Products Act (S.501-B Kaminsky / A. 6296-A Englebright) into law. The move marks the fulfillment of a decade-long campaign by a broad, diverse coalition of environmental health advocates, health-impacted groups, sustainable businesses, environmental justice leaders, health care providers, child care providers, parent groups and many others. The law will require manufacturers to disclose chemicals of concern in children’s products and restrict the most toxic, while authorizing the State to add chemicals to disclose and restrict by regulation. The bill passed 53-9 in the Senate and 100-23 in the Assembly on April 30, 2019 as part of a first-ever bicameral Earth Day package.

While toxic chemicals can affect anyone, babies and children are particularly vulnerable segments of the population. Chemicals can alter their childhood development and have been linked to cancer, asthma, infertility, developmental disabilities, allergies, diabetes and more. The Child Safe Products Act requires manufacturers to report the presence of chemicals of concern and phase out the most toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos, while simultaneously establishing a mechanism for reporting and banning dangerous chemicals from children’s products in perpetuity.

January 21, 2020

Today, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Safe Products Act (S.501-B Kaminsky / A. 6296-A Englebright) into law. The move marks the fulfillment of a years-long campaign by a broad, diverse coalition of environmental health advocates, health-impacted groups, sustainable businesses, environmental justice leaders, health care providers, child care providers, parent groups and many others to secure legislation to disclose chemicals of concern in children’s products and restrict the most toxic. The bill passed 53-9 in the Senate and 100-23 in the Assembly on April 30, 2019 as part of a first-ever bicameral Earth Day package.

In addition to his verbal comments, the Governor's Fiscal Year 2021 Executive Budget Book lists priorities previously backed by Clean and Healthy New York, including an expansion of the existing extended producer responsibility programs pertaining to e-waste, mercury thermostats, and rechargeable batteries to include carpets and mattresses. Clean and Healthy New York also supports the proposed $300 million towards the Environmental Protection Fund, with an expectation that some funding will be put towards innovating green chemistry solutions to confront environmental health challenges.

January 8, 2020

Today, Governor Cuomo delivered his annual State of the State address in Albany, making substantial commitments to climate and environmental health priorities. Specifically, the governor committed to banning single-use styrofoam food containers and packing peanuts.

"Styrofoam is one of the most common pollutants and a public health hazard that impacts humans and the environment alike," said Governor Cuomo. "From take-out containers to packing peanuts, this material is everywhere and it will continue to pollute our waters and harm our wildlife for generations to come if we do not act. With this proposal, we can build on our nation-leading initiatives to protect the environment and move New York another step closer to a greener, more sustainable future." 

December 19, 2019

Governor Cuomo signed legislation today banning the use of PFAS in firefighting foam. The bill (S. 439-A Hoylman) / (A. 445-A Steck), which passed both houses almost with unanimity, prohibits any person, local government or state agency from discharging Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS in New York state. The policy also mandates that when firefighting personal protection equipment is sold, purchasers are provided written notice if the equipment contains PFAS chemicals, with a justification for its presence. The bill will be put into effect in 90 days.

December 23, 2019

Families, children, and advocates gathered at the State Christmas Tree at the Capitol to urge Governor Cuomo to sign the Child Safe Products Act. Singing “Child Safe Carols” such as “All We Want for Christmas* is the Child Safe Products Act” and “I’m Dreaming of a Healthy Childhood,” those gathered sought to remind the Governor how important the bill is to New York families.

December 12, 2019

After four years in the making, The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) has released their High Priority Chemicals Data System portal. The tool helps manufacturers comply with state laws regulating chemicals of concern, such as those in Oregon and Washington state. The tool will additional restrictions to state legislation, such as proposed laws in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York State.

December 12, 2019

New Report Finds Upward Trend in Toxic-Free Children's Car Seats

The Ecology Center today published a new report that finds an upward trend in toxic-free children’s car seats available for purchase between 2016 to 2019. In a three-year span, five major companies have released car seats that meet federal flammability standards without hazardous flame retardant chemicals. These companies include Britax, Clek, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, and UPPAbaby. Although not a single toxic-free children’s car seat was available in 2016, the study finds that today there are 16 toxic flame retardant-free car seat models available for purchase. The report is based on a combination of Ecology Center independent testing and a comprehensive review of manufacturer claims.

November 20, 2019

Coalition of Environmental Health and Justice Organizations Say New York Should Lead the Way Protecting Children Against Toxic Chemicals in Products Designed for Kids

New York, NY – On this World Children’s Day and as the holiday shopping season begins, a coalition of businesses, health care providers, and environmental health and justice organizations are urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the Child Safe Products Act “to reveal hidden harmful unnecessary chemicals and eliminate the worst of them in items babies and children use every day.”

Noting that, with the Governor’s signature, New York will be a national leader in protecting children from these toxic chemicals that can have lifelong health consequences, they wrote, “our children are depending on you.”

November 19, 2019

A new report reveals that many of North America’s largest retail companies are embracing chemical safety policies to help protect consumers from toxic chemicals in products. In the largest-ever analysis of its kind, 63% of evaluated companies improved over the past year alone.

The fourth annual Who’s Minding the Store? A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals evaluated and graded the chemical policies and practices of 43 retail chains with more than 190,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada, as part of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign. 

The only major retailer focused on baby products, buybuy BABY, and its parent company Bed Bath and Beyond, was one of the most improved, raising their score this year from a D+ to a C+, through new documented policies to restrict harmful chemicals in padded products like furniture and toys and personal care products for babies.

“We applaud the progress leading retailers are making to protect people – especially children – from harmful chemicals. We can accelerate this progress through state-level action  like New York’s Child Safe Products Act, to reveal hidden harmful chemicals and eliminate the worst of them in items meant for kids,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York. Passed with strong bipartisan support in April 2019 as part of a first-ever bicameral Earth Day legislative package, the Child Safe Products Act awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature. (Click here to read full release)

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