Manufacturers of children's products would be required to report whether toys, cosmetics, jewelry, apparel and other items contain certain harmful chemicals, under new rules proposed by Washington state.
Officials have come up with a list of 59 chemicals that would trigger reporting to the state. The list includes cadmium, formaldehyde, benzene and bisphenol A.
Manufacturers of products intended for sale in Washington would report how much of the chemicals is in their products and how they are used, such as to kill germs or harden plastics. The rules also would apply to retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that directly import products into the United States.
“This is the first step toward safer products,” said Carol Kraege, the Department of Ecology’s toxics policy coordinator.
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The agency released the proposed rules Monday and expects to finalize them early next year.
Reporting would begin in 2012 for the largest manufacturers, or those with gross sales of over $1 billion. It would phase in over the next several years for smaller companies.
The first round of reporting applies to products intended for children 3 and younger or likely to be put in a child’s mouth or on their skin. Clothes, jewelry, bedding and car seats come next, followed by toys.
Rick Locker, general counsel for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, said his group is still evaluating the rules. Locker and other industry officials said children’s products are already heavily regulated.
“We should embrace making products safer,” said Grant Nelson, government affairs director for the Association of Washington Business.
The group is still studying the rules, he said, but “there needs to be some realistic approach to implementing the requirements and a recognition of feasibility, cost and reality when it comes to looking at the next potential steps.”