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Toxics Bills Across the Country: The March is On!

Posted by SAFER States on Feb 26, 2013

Children put everything in their mouths--including products that may contain toxic chemicals.

Last month, we let the world know that states aren't waiting for Congress to act when it comes to toxic chemicals—at least 26 of them will be introducing bills to make their residents safer. And the country has taken notice! The story of the state fight was read across the country, with everyone wondering how they could help their state step up and join the fight.

And now, these states aren't just considering toxics legislation—they're moving it through their state capitols! As legislative sessions get further underway, bills banning toxic chemicals are being introduced from Alaska to West Virginia!

As we mentioned in a recent post, the dangers of toxic flame retardants are a big concern, and bills have been introduced in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Washington—and more are sure to come as the sessions continue!

But flame retardants aren't the only toxic chemicals coming under state fire. States are continuing to introduce bills to keep bisphenol A (BPA) out of our lives. There are bills to pull it out of children's products (Pennsylvania, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia) and food containers (Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey, West Virginia), clearly label wherever it shows up (South Dakota, Connecticut), and remove it from places many don't even know to look for it, like the receipt paper we stash in our wallets every day (New York). States have also introduced legislation to get cadmium out of children's products (New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi), as well as formaldehyde (Minnesota).

And most importantly, several states have introduced sweeping comprehensive bills (Alaska, Florida, New York, Maine, Minnesota, Vermont). These bills don't just focus on a single problem, but take aim at a broad swath of toxic chemicals. They identify lists of chemicals of concern (and establish criteria for assessing new chemicals in the market), require manufacturers to disclose if their products contain those chemicals, and develop a process to move toward safer alternatives across the board.

Although some sessions are just a few weeks old, the bills are rolling in! This list will continue to grow, as the sessions continue and more bills are introduced. Want to let your legislator know that you support these bills? Or want to help add your state's name to the list? Check out our list of partners, and find like-minded toxic crusaders in your state! We'll check back in in a few weeks—and our list will keep getting longer!

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