Vol. 1135 | 27 Feb 2020

On February 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed legislation (S501B) enacting the regulation of toxic chemicals in children's products. The law requires manufacturers to disclose the use of chemicals in children's products and requires the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to make this information public to consumers. The legislation was signed pursuant to a chapter agreement, which will reorganize the regulatory framework for DEC to designate chemicals of concern and high-priority chemicals, establish a children's product safety council charged with providing DEC with recommendations on additional chemicals that should be considered for future prohibitions on use in children's products, establish timelines for future regulatory actions, incorporate a standard by which chemicals should be reviewed by the department for future prohibitions, as well as other technical changes.

Under the chapter agreement, DEC is required to promulgate a list of chemicals of concern, which will define chemicals that have a specific hazard profile. Within 12 months of a chemical being identified as a chemical of concern, manufacturers will be required to disclose use of that chemical, and the bill will allow DEC to share this information with an online database used by other states that have similar programs. DEC will promulgate a list of chemicals of concern within two years and the bill contains a list of chemicals that should be considered by the department.

The bill also creates a category of high-priority chemicals, and includes criteria for the department to add to the list of high-priority chemicals that will also be subject to disclosure.  High-priority chemicals will be reviewed periodically to determine if such chemicals should be subject to prohibition and manufacturers that use high-priority chemicals in their products would be required to notify retailers that the chemical is contained within a product.

The bill will also create a children's product safety council that will advise DEC on additional chemicals that should be added to a list of high-priority chemicals and chemicals that should be prohibited from use in a children's product based on the potential for exposure to such chemical.

“Children” is defined as a person or persons aged twelve and under.

“Children’s product” means a product primarily intended for, made for or marketed for use by children, such as baby products, toys, car seats, school supplies, personal care products, a product designed or intended by the manufacturer to help a child with sucking or teething, to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or the feeding of a child, and children’s novelty products, children’s jewelry, children’s bedding, furniture, furnishings, and apparel. “Children’s product” does note include:

  1. Batteries, or
  2. Consumer electronic products including but not limited to personal computers, audio and video equipment, calculators, wireless phones, game consoles, and handheld devices incorporating a video screen, used to access interactive software and their associated peripherals, or
  3. Food or beverage or any additive to a food or beverage regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration, or
  4. Drug, biologic or medical device regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration

The Senate Bill S501B can be reviewed at: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s501/

The chapter amendment Assembly Bill A9765 can be reviewed at: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/A9765

For questions, please contact Laxmi Ravikumar (laxmi.ravikumar@intertek.com, +1-630-209-9265) or Pratik Ichhaporia (pratik.ichhaporia@intertek.com, +1-847-212-8273).


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