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SAFEGUARDS | Softlines, Toys & Juvenile Products NO. 090/15

SafeGuardS girl holding doll bear

A federal judge has granted a motion to stay a local law in Albany County banning the sale of safe children’s products, including toys, footwear and clothing, containing certain chemicals. By granting the stay, the law which was scheduled to go into effect in January 2016, is paused and will not be enforced until at least 6 months after any decision or order.

In January of 2015, Albany County in New York State adopted the “Local Law J” that prohibits the sale of any children’s products or children’s apparel containing benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cadmium and cobalt at any level. The law defined that a children’s product is any product primarily intended for, made for, or marketed for use by children age 12 and younger. It does not include batteries, consumer electronics or electronic components, paper products, or a drug, biologic, medical device, food, or food additive regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In May of 2015, a motion[1] was filed jointly by an industry coalition (representing hundreds of U.S. based manufacturers and sellers of children’s products and toys) and the County Attorney to sue over the county’s law. The motion asked that the Local Law J be declared unconstitutional and allow the products that meet strict federal safety requirements remain available to consumers. The coalition’s lawsuit alleges that the law bans and criminalizes the sale of safe children’s products that otherwise meet federal safety requirements under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) and the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), where there are acceptable levels for various toxic substances set forth in children’s products. Thus, the coalition claims that the Local Law J triggers the pre-emption provisions of existing federal law regulating children’s products and would establish an unworkable patchwork of chemical regulations.

Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy, for restricted substances in children’s products for New York and international markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Kris Wan
Senior Manager, Global Softlines Development Office
t: +852 2765 3695

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