Groups again pushing for legislation prohibiting toxic chemicals in children's products


Environmental groups and some local leaders are again pushing for state lawmakers to pass the Child Safe Products Act. The legislation would ban certain toxic chemicals and heavy metals —  arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, and benzene — from children's products including clothing, toys, car seats, and furniture.

The Assembly passed the legislation by a wide margin last year, but top Senate leaders didn't bring the bill to a vote, even though it had substantial bipartisan support in the chamber.

To hammer home the issue, two of the legislation's supporters — Clean and Healthy New York and the New York Conservation League's Voter Education Fund —  have been testing products they purchased from around the state. Yesterday, they released the results of tests on 12 toys bought from Monroe County stores in March. They found arsenic in one product, antimony in two, cadmium in eight, cobalt in eight, and mercury in three.

One Hot Wheels set contained mercury and cobalt, while a girl's hair clip tested positive for mercury, arsenic, and cobalt.

Researchers tested the products using an X-ray fluorescence analyzer, a portable device that detects substances on objects' surfaces. The device is accurate and is used by federal agencies to scan packaging and food, and by state and county health departments to screen for lead paint residue in residences, the groups said in a press release.