SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 110/15

SafeGuardS child with toy car

Suffolk County recently became the third county in New York State to restrict the sale of children’s products containing certain toxic chemicals. The restriction of the 6 heavy metals will take effect on 1 July, 2016. The law will be enforced by random inspection of retailers starting 1 December 2016.

On 23 June 2015 [1], the County Executive of Suffolk County signed the ‘Toxic Free Toys Act’[2] into law. This law sets strict limits for the total content of six heavy metals (antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, lead and mercury) in products intended primarily for children up to the age of twelve.

The law will be enforced by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services:

  • The department is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations as necessary for implementation
  • The department will educate retailers selling children’s products of the new law from 1 January 2016
  • The department will enforce the new law through the random inspection of at least 10 retailers per quarter using an X-ray fluorescence analyzer (XRF) starting 1 December 2016. The Department will select up to 10 children’s products at each retailer for on-site screening

According to the definitions in the Toxic Free Toys Act, the following products are not within the meaning of a ‘Children’s product’:

  • Batteries
  • Consumer electronic components or products
  • Drugs, medical devices or biological products (FDA)
  • Food or food additives (FDA)
  • Paper products

Suffolk County now joins Albany County [3] and Westchester County [4] in regulating certain chemicals in children’s products at the local government level in New York State. 

Highlights of the new law in Suffolk County are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1

Suffolk County, New York State

‘The Toxic Free Toys Act’



Requirement (total content)

Enforcement Date

Antimony, arsenic, cobalt and mercury

Products for children up to the age of 12

≤ 40 ppm each

1 July 2016


≤ 75 ppm


≤ 90 ppm (paint or similar surface coating)

≤ 100 ppm (accessible substrate)

Enforcement Action

  • - ŸEducating retailers selling children’s products begins 1 January 2016
  • Ÿ- Random inspection of at least 10 retailers per quarter using XRF technology begins 1 December 2016

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 Suffolk County and international markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hing Wo Tsang
Global Toys and Juvenile Products
t: +852 2774 7420

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