Today the Breast Cancer Fund and our allies organized a press conference in the governor's press room in the state Capitol to urge Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign the toxic toys bill, AB 1108. The bill, which would ban dangerous chemicals from children’s toys, was passed by the state Legislature and has landed on the governor’s desk for his
signature or veto.
Along with our colleagues at Environment California, we brought 1,000 rubber duckies to the state Capitol, along with concerned parents, their children, and teen activists concerned about toy safety. Most of the major networks showed up, as they did last week in Los Angeles for evening news coverage of our fight to ban these harmful chemicals. We worked with pediatrician Harvey Karp, who spoke at our Los Angeles event, to place an opinion column in the LA Times today urging the governor to sign the bill.
Meanwhile, the chemical industry is dumping a ton of money into ads opposing the bill. They ran a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times opposing the bill, and this week they are running ads on CNN and MSNBC. We could use your help in this fight: you can take action by faxing the governor and you can make a donation to the Breast Cancer Fund to support our work to make families and communities safe from chemicals linked to breast cancer.
In the last few weeks, millions of toys worldwide have been recalled by Mattel and its subsidiary Fisher-Price after alarming levels of lead were found in them. "But toys with harmful chemicals can still be found on store shelves throughout Californiaand the rest of the country," said Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, sponsor of the bill.
Once signed, AB 1108 will require all child care products and toys sold in California for children to be free of chemicals called phthalates. Scientists worldwide have linked phthalates (pronounced "THA-lates") to lowered sperm counts, early onset of puberty, testicular cancer and liver problems. These chemicals are found in rubber duckies, teething rings, bath books and other soft plastic toys and can leech out of these toys when children suck or chew on them.