New York Law Extends Child Product Bans
September 1, 2011
New York has
become the first state to prohibit the sale of children’s products that contain
the flame retardant chemical TRIS, which studies have shown can cause cancer.
The ban, which will take effect on December 1, 2013, is tied to a recently passed law in New
York called the Tris-Free
Children and Babies Act. "The signing of this bill is a major step forward
in protecting our children from the dangers of TRIS, and parents should welcome
this new safeguard as an important cautionary measure for the future health of
children," said State Senator Mark Grisanti
(R-Buffalo), who co-sponsored the measure.
Specifically, the legislation bans the sale of items like
baby toys, car seats, crib mattresses and strollers that are intended for use
by children three years old and younger. Violators would be charged $1,000 per
day for a first offense and up to $2,500 for a second offense. TRIS has a long
history of scrutiny by regulators and was banned from use in children's
clothing in 1977 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Yet, the chemical
remains prevalent in the foam padding of numerous products, including nursing
pillows and booster seats.
"For years this product has been known as a potential
carcinogenic and appropriately banned from children's clothing, and it is long
overdue that we extend these protections to other child care products,"
said Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). "This new law will continue our efforts
to protect children from potentially hazardous chemicals."
In addition to linking TRIS to cancer, laboratory studies
have also shown the chemical can cause problems with fertility and neurological
development. Earlier this year, researchers at Duke
University found toxic or untested
chemical flame retardants in 80% of the baby products they tested. TRIS was
found in one-third of those products.