An important piece of legislation is moving through Congress that would ban toxic phthalates from children’s toys and childcare articles. Phthalates (pronounced “THA-lates”) are chemicals used in many soft, plastic toys like rubber ducks, teething rings and bath books that can leech out of these toys when children chew on them. Scientists have linked phthalates to early onset of puberty in girls (a risk factor for breast cancer) and birth defects in baby boys. Safe alternatives exist. So, it would seem like a no-brainer that Congress would pass this legislation, right?
We hope so.
Right now, a small, bi-partisan Congressional Conference Committee made up of members of the Senate and House is finalizing the legislation—known as the Consumer Product Safety bill. Their job is to reconcile the Senate version of the legislation—which includes a ban toxic phthalates from children’s toys and childcare articles—and the House version—which does not. The House members have a historic opportunity here to support their colleagues in the Senate and vote to include the phthalates ban and, in so doing, protect all kids from these dangerous chemicals.
Enacting this ban on phthalates in kids’ toys is far from a radical move. California and Washington State have already enacted the ban, as has the European Union and 14 other countries. So isn’t it time our U.S. Congress do the same? If you agree, tell them.