A report released last week identifies for the first time more than 650 brand name products that contain two hormone-disrupting toxic chemicals. Based on new industry data, the report names plastic toys, such as PLAYMOBIL play figures and Chicco baby rattles, which contain BPA (or bisphenol A), the same toxic chemical already banned in plastic baby bottles and sippy cups. The report revealed another toxic ingredient, known as NPEs, in nearly 300 household paints, as well as several cleaners, wood finishes and home maintenance products.
The report, Poison in Paint, Toxics in Toys, summarizes the first chemical use reports submitted by product manufacturers under a new state chemical safety law passed in Maine. Similar state laws go into effect in Washington and California next year and are pending in other states, as Congress lags behind in reforming the outdated federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.
“In the absence of federal leadership, state policies are the best way to identify and restrict toxic chemicals in products,” said Mike Belliveau, lead report author and executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center based in Portland, Maine. “Until Congress acts, we can expect more states and businesses to respond to consumer demand for toxic-free products.”
“As a new mom, I’m relieved to finally get some information I can use as a consumer to protect the health of my baby,” said Hannah Pingree, the former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives who sponsored the 2008 Maine law known as the Kid Safe Products Act. “But why are these chemicals still used in everyday products, and what else are they keeping us in the dark about?” she asked. “Congress has to fix our broken federal chemical safety system. Passing the Safe Chemicals Act is the only way to protect the health of all American families.”
Armed with this new chemical use information, government can make better decisions to restrict toxic chemicals and industry leaders can switch to safer substitutes, just like the infant formula makers who recently ended their use of BPA in metal cans. Twenty-five manufacturers reported on priority chemical use in consumer products to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. For a full searchable listing of every brand name product reported to contain BPA or NPEs, visit www.HealthyStuff.org.