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Becoming effective on March 1, 2020, the US state of New York has begun regulating certain toxic chemicals in children’s products.

The state governor signed, ‘An Act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law, in relation to regulations of toxic chemicals in children’s products’, on February 7, 2020. This adds Title IX ‘Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products’ to Article 37 of the Environmental Conservation Law. It requires manufacturers, importers and first domestic distributors of products that come under the scope of the Act, and containing specified chemicals, to disclose information on their use at practical quantification limits (PQLs).

This legislation was signed pursuant to a chapter agreement, which will, among other things, establish a children’s product safety council and reorganize the regulatory framework for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to designate chemicals of concern (CoC) and high-priority chemicals (HPC).

The original draft of the law contained provisions relating to, among other things, an initial list of 103 entries for CoC and an initial list of 9 entries for ‘dangerous chemicals’ (DCs). The NYDEC was also directed to publish lists of CoC and DC on its website by August 28, 2020 (within 180 days of March 1, 2020), with these lists being reviewed periodically. It also stipulated children’s products containing specific DC would be prohibited from January 1, 2023.

An amended bill, A9765, was then introduced by the New York State legislature on February 10, 2020. This contained several important changes to the original law draft, including:

  • Definition for ‘children’s product’ a consumer product primarily intended for, made for, or marketed for use by children aged 12 and under, such as apparel, baby products, bedding, car seats, furnishings, furniture, jewelry, novelty products, personal care products, school supplies, toys, and childcare articles to help a child with sucking or teething, to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or the feeding of a child
  • Deleting the initial list of 103 entries for COC and references to DC
  • Directing the NYDEC to consider a minimum of 77 entries listed in the bill for promulgating a list of CoC within two years of the effective date – the list will be reviewed periodically
  • Designating the following as HPC – reviewed periodically, including determinations on whether to prohibit children’s products containing HPC:
    • 1. Asbestos
    • 2. Arsenic and arsenic compounds, including arsenic trioxide and dimethyl arsenic
    • 3. Benzene
    • 4. Cadmium (except toy coatings)
    • 5. Mercury and mercury compounds, including methyl mercury
    • 6. Organohalogen flame retardants in upholstered bedding or furniture
    • 7. Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP)
  • Reporting requirements for children’s products containing a CoC or HPC at or above PQL within 12 months after these chemicals have been identified – an alternative threshold for the reporting of trace contaminants may be established
  • Prohibiting children’s products containing asbestos, benzene or TDCPP, which is intentionally added, from January 1, 2023. Does not apply to:
    • 1. Children’s products solely based on their containing an enclosed battery or enclosed electronic components
    • 2. Where state regulation on children’s products is preempted by federal law
    • 3. Where the presence of the chemical is as a trace contaminant
    • 4. Component of a children’s product is inaccessible
  • Establishing a children’s product safety council to advise NYDEC on HPC. It should provide the first list of recommended HPC to the NYDEC no later than one year from its initial meeting and then to update the list annually
  • Requiring manufacturers of children’s products containing an HPC to notify persons that offer the children’s product for sale or distribution that the product contains the chemical, and to provide information on its toxicity
  • Directing the NYDEC to post information on children’s products containing CoC or HPC on its website

The amended bill, A9765, states the Act will come into effect on March 1, 2020 and in the same manner as the original bill.

SGS Toy & Juvenile Product Services

SGS offers a wide range of services to ensure that products comply with relevant standards for childcare articles and children’s equipment. They provide consulting, training, product development, testing, audit and inspection services to ensure that products comply with strict regulations worldwide, demonstrating the safety and quality of juvenile products being brought to the market. Learn more about SGS’s Toy & Juvenile Product Services.

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