Republican State Senate Rich Funke has signed on to legislation that would ban some heavy metals and toxic chemicals from children's products.
Funke was originally set to announce his support for the legislation, the Child Safe Products Act
, last month, but he pulled out of a scheduled press conference
. His spokesperson said that he was reviewing the bill.
“As a grandfather of six, I know nothing is more important than doing what we can to keep our kids safe and healthy,” Funke said in a press release. “I’m proud to cosponsor the Child Safe Products Act because every parent deserves to know that their kids’ toys and clothes are free of toxic substances. Even if there’s a shadow of a doubt that these materials may or may not be dangerous, it only makes sense to err on the side of caution to protect our children and families.”
The Child Safe Products Act would ban 10 specific heavy metals and toxic chemicals — including mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic, cobalt, antimony and benzene — from children's products sold in New York, starting in January 2018.
Toy industry representatives and the bill's critics say that new restrictions aren't necessary, since the federal government already has a strong set of regulations that cover toxic materials in children's products. The products, they say, are required to be tested in independent, certified labs.
But the bill's proponents say that the Child Safe Products Act covers more substances than the federal standards. And that the federal standards are insufficient.