Ann Arbor lawmaker introducing legislation to crack down on toxic toys in Michigan
Toxic toys in Michigan? No way.
During a news conference with the Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health, state Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, announced plans to introduce new legislation to protect children from toxic chemicals in toy products.
The Safe Children's Products Act would require the state to create a list of chemicals of concern in children’s products. It also would require toy importers and large manufactures to disclose the presence of chemicals of greatest concern in their children's products.
Parents, health professionals and community leaders gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to urge support of the legislation.
Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, also announced the introduction of legislation to ban cadmium and mercury, toxic heavy metals that have been found in children’s jewelry and toys.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers cadmium a probable human carcinogen. Both mercury and cadmium can impair normal brain and nervous system development.
"All too often children's products contain hazardous chemicals that have been linked to diseases and disorders such as cancer, reproductive problems, and learning disabilities," Joyce Stein, a registered nurse and a member of the Michigan Nurses Association, said in a statement. "Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals."
The Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health is a coalition of health professional, health-affected and environmental organizations from across the state. It is backed by toy store owners, health professionals and families committed to protecting Michigan's children from toxic chemical exposure, according to Jennifer Canvasser, an environmental health organizer at the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center who is working with the organization.
Toy safety testing is among a wide range of services provided by NSF International, a not-for-profit company that employs about 450 workers at its headquarters in Ann Arbor Township.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.