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Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.7070-D (Perkins)/A.10089-A (Sweeney)

Support

SUBJECT:

Toxic Chemicals in Children's Products

 

DATE:

June 29, 2010

 

The Business Council opposes this legislation, which would ban the use of chemicals in products intended for use by children if the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Health (DOH) determine that a particular chemical is a “priority chemical of high concern.”

This bill would give theses agencies broad authority to undergo a chemical review process they are unequipped to handle. New York would have to undertake an expensive, highly scientific review to make concrete determinations about the toxicity of chemicals and there potential harm to the public. New York does not have the financial resources or expertise to execute such a review. Moreover the bill establishes no baseline for what information would be found acceptable to make decisions about toxicity or exposure. What are the established scientific based standards of review?

This bill broadly covers banning chemicals in any consumer product that is intended for use by children 12 years old and younger. Under such an expansive view, how would a manufacturer, importer or distributor be able to determine whether or not a personal care product, such as soap, shampoo or toothpaste is intended for children? This will affect entire sectors in manufacturing, business and retail that may be required to discontinue commonly used products.

Finally, The Business Council is concerned with any legislation that calls for state specific chemical bans and restrictions. This bill will create uncertainty for New York's manufacturers who will not know from year to year which chemicals will make the priority list for bans until the list is made public. Chemical regulation in particular is better handled on a national level, rather than having different states with varying standards for chemical and product safety.  This in turn will further put New York manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage with those in other states and discourage new businesses from relocating to or expanding in New York.

New York should allow Congress to continue its review and reform of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and EPA's completion of its designated chemical action plans. This would provide a sound, national statutory and regulatory system that all businesses and manufacturers, including those in New York, can follow. New York should work with the federal government and take advantage of its resources in addressing issues of importance to the state in terms of chemical regulation.

For these reasons, The Business council opposes adoption of S.7070-D/A.10089-A.