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SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 021/16

SafeGuardS girl with jewellerys

The Albany County Legislature in the state of New York has recently adopted a proposal to amend the Toxic Free Toys Act. If enacted, the new law will be effective on 1 July, 2016.

In January 2015, we informed you that Albany County became the first local government in New York State to sign the 'Toxic Free Toys Act' '[1]' (also called local law 'J' of 2014) into law. This law prohibits six heavy metals (antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, lead and mercury) and benzene in children’s products and children’s apparel.

In response to a lawsuit by the Safe to Play Coalition in the second quarter of 2015, Albany County has agreed to develop implementing regulations for this local law and to stay enforcement [2] of the law until six months after the pending lawsuit has been concluded. According to a news article [3] from the Times Union, the regulations must be completed by 1 February, 2016.

On 28 December 2015, the Albany County Legislature adopted Local Law No. 'P' for 2015 'Toxic Free Toys Act' [4] to amend the existing 'Toxic Free Toys Act' [Local Law 1 for 2015 (Local law 'J' for 2014)]. This adopted proposal also targets the same 7 chemicals in children's products but with notable changes to the concentration limit of each chemical; from 'prohibited' to a 'certain total content value'.

According to the adopted proposal, any Federal Standards that are applicable to particular children’s products will be used for enforcement of chemical content of those products instead of the standards in the adopted proposal; unless Albany County or New York State obtains a ruling from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that the standards established by the State or County are exempt pursuant to the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), Title 15, Chapter 47, Section 2075. [5]

If enacted, the new law will take effect on 1 July, 2016.

Highlights of the adopted proposal are summarized in Table 1

Table 1

Albany County, New York State, US 'Toxic Free Toys Act'

Local Law 1 for 2015 (Local Law No. 'J' for 2014)

Local Law 'P' for 2015 to amend Local Law 1 for 2015

Scope

Products and apparel for children up to the age of 12

Antimony

Prohibited

≤ 60 ppm

Arsenic

Prohibited

≤ 25 ppm

Benzene

Prohibited

≤ 100 ppm

Cadmium

Prohibited

≤ 75 ppm

Cobalt

Prohibited

≤ 40 ppm

Lead

Prohibited

≤ 90 ppm (paints or similar surface coatings)

≤ 100 ppm (accessible substrates)

Mercury

Prohibited

≤ 60 ppm

Exemption

  • Batteries
  • Children’s products that are sold or distributed for free at second hand stores, yard sales, on the internet or donated to charities
  • ŸConsumer electronics or electronic components
  • ŸDrugs, biological, medical device, food or food additive regulated by the US FDA
  • ŸPaper products
  • ŸProtective sporting equipment such as athletic supporters, elbow pads, helmets and knee pads

Effective date

12 January, 2016

1 July, 2016

Remark

Stay of enforcement until at least 1 July, 2016, pending outcome of lawsuit

Proposal adopted 8 December 2015

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 the US and international markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hing Wo Tsang
Global Hardlines
t: +852 2774 7420

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