Representative Scott Jiu Wo Kawasaki
Alaska State Legislature District 9 Fairbanks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 1, 2011
Kawasaki Introduces Bill to Protect Kids from Toxic Toys
Legislation to create a toxic toys consumer watch list for parents
Fairbanks – Representative Scott Kawasaki introduced legislation aimed at protecting children’s health from unnecessary and dangerous chemicals in everyday consumer and child products. The bill requires Alaska to adopt and publish a watch list of priority chemicals of high concern, requires manufacturers to disclose the toxic chemicals they add to products and authorizes the state to require safer alternatives.
“This would be a huge victory for the health of our children,” said Representative Kawasaki, “There are holes in our laws that allow toxic chemicals in everything from rubber ducks to baby dolls. Alaska must ensure that toxic toys aren’t sold to unknowing parents.”
House Bill 238 would establish Alaska as a leader in safe chemicals policy reform, along with Maine, Minnesota and Washington, which all passed similar legislation. House Bill 238 creates a list of chemicals already known to harm children and a process for Alaska to take advantage of the best scientific research and phase out the use of these chemicals that are known toxins. The bill also requires manufacturers to disclose the use of these chemicals in products and authorizes the Department of Health and Social Services to phase out the use of dangerous chemicals when safer alternatives are available.
“Studies show children are particularly harmed by toxic chemicals even at very low doses because their bodies are still developing and especially vulnerable,” Representative Kawasaki said. “Children inevitably put toys in their mouths and parents deserve to know what is in them.”
Toxic chemicals in children’s products have come under strict scrutiny. Bisphenol-A, a chemical widely used in consumer products such as plastic baby bottles is known to harm children and came under fire recently from government scientists in the United States. The National Toxicology Program reversed a previous opinion by declaring that Bisphenol-A may be linked to a number of common and serious reproductive and developmental problems including breast cancer and early puberty. Under HB 238 Bisphenol-A could be listed as a dangerous toxin which would allow for specific measures to curb its use. The Alaska Public Interest Research Group recently published the 26th Annual Report: The Trouble in Toyland in advance of the Christmas shopping season.
If you have additional questions, please contact Mindy O’Neall at 907-456-7423.