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New York Counties Ban Certain Chemicals in Toys and Children’s Products

October 26, 2015

Update 

On October 26, 2015, Rockland County, New York and the Safe To Play Coalition entered into a stipulation which delays enforcement of the Toxic Free Toys Act through December 31, 2015 to allow the County to amend the law or develop regulations to prevent litigation. For those unfamiliar with the law, the language states:

This places Rockland County in a similar position to Albany County, NY which is currently in litigation with the Safe To Play Coalition.

This development is high impact as it delays enforcement of the Rockland County chemical ban until January 1, 2016, at the earliest.


Details

Measures similar to the Albany County New York “Toxic Free Toys Act,” banning certain chemicals in toys and children’s products, will be enacted in New York’s Westchester, Suffolk and Rockland Counties. In a lawsuit filed against the County, the Safe To Play Coalition asserts that these types of regulations are duplicative of existing federal laws regulating children’s products and will establish an unworkable patchwork of chemical regulations. The Albany County ban is currently in litigation due to a law suit filed by the Safe To Play Coalition.

Why It Matters

  • Albany County Local Law J bans the sale of children’s products including toys and apparel that contains lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, antimony, and cobalt.

     - The law was originally scheduled to be enforced in January 2016, but is currently in litigation.

  • Westchester County law bans the sale of children's products (e.g. toys, children’s apparel) containing formaldehyde, benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cobalt, and cadmium.

     - The law will be enforced beginning May 2016.

  • Suffolk County law sets total content limits for the following six heavy metals in children's products:

    o   mercury, antimony, arsenic, cobalt: 40 ppm (per chemical);
    o   lead: 100 ppm in accessible parts, 90 ppm in paint or any similar surface coating;
    o   cadmium: 75 ppm;
      - The law will be enforced beginning July 1, 2016.

  •  Rockland County “Toxic Free Toys Act,” passed by the legislature in late June, prohibits the use of seven hazardous chemicals; benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cobalt, and cadmium, in children’s products.

     - The law is in effect as of October 11, 2015.

COMPARISON OF NEW YORK COUNTIES LAWS AND RESPECTIVE LIMITS AGAINST FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS

SUBSTANCE FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS NEW YORK COUNTIES REQUIREMENTS
CPSIA Applicable to Children’s Products ASTM F963-11 Applicable to Toys Albany County Westchester County Suffolk County Rockland County
lead 90 for surface coatings or 100 ppm for substrates (total)

90 ppm (migration) prohibited prohibited 90 for surface coatings or 100 ppm for substrates (total) prohibited
mercury 60 ppm or 25 ppm for modeling clay (migration) prohibited prohibited 40 ppm (total) prohibited
arsenic 25 ppm (migration) prohibited prohibited 40 ppm (total) prohibited
cadmium 75 ppm or 50 ppm for modeling clay ppm (migration) prohibited prohibited 75 ppm (total) prohibited
antimony 60 ppm (migration) prohibited prohibited 40 ppm (total) prohibited
cobalt prohibited prohibited 40 ppm (total) prohibited
benzene prohibited prohibited prohibited
formaldehyde prohibited

 

How UL Can Help For more details on how UL can help you navigate multiple levels of chemical regulations to bring regulatory compliant, safe, and quality children’s products to market contact the [email protected]. A UL representative will follow up with you soon.

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