OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has posted on its website the first reports required from manufacturers of children's products about the presence of specific toxic chemicals of concern in their products. Products covered include toys, cosmetics, jewelry and baby products.
The Children's Safe Product Act, signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire on April 1, 2008, required manufacturers to report on the presence of chemicals of concern in children's products. In consultation with the state Department of Health, Ecology developed a list of 66 chemicals that product-makers must report on.
The reporting requirement is being phased in. The first businesses to report are the largest manufacturers of products designed to be put into a child's mouth or on their skin, as well as all products intended for children age 3 or under. Other product-makers will report according to a phased-in schedule outlined in the agency's rule, which was adopted in July 2011.
Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant said: "The Legislature passed this ground-breaking law for two reasons. One was the broad recognition that federal chemical policy doesn't sufficiently protect against toxics in products. And two, parents and the public have demanded that someone fill that gap.
"This program will daylight the supply chain by showing where toxic chemicals are found in children's products. If we identify risks in children's products, this will enable us to do something about it."
The reporting period for the first businesses required to report during this first phase ended on Aug. 31, 2012. Ecology needed time to perform quality assurance on the reports it received and to assemble and test the public website. It is now live at this link: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/cspa/search.html. Along with offering standard reports, the site provides custom ways for visitors to search for information.
Reporting the use of toxic chemicals is the first step toward making products safer for children. Reports under this law will help policy-makers decide if further actions are needed.