SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 059/16

Girl playing with wooden toys

Albany County in the state of New York has recently revised its Local Law to restrict certain chemicals in children’s products and children’s apparel. The new law will take effect starting 1 July, 2016.

In January 2015, we informed you that Albany County became the first local government in New York State to enact the 'Toxic Free Toys Act (Local Law 1 for 2015)’ [1] to prohibit six heavy metals and benzene in children’s products and children’s apparel. The law was commonly called ‘Local Law “J”’ at the time.

 In response to a lawsuit by the Safe to Play Coalition in the second quarter of 2015, the Albany County Legislature adopted  an amendment [2] to the ‘Toxic Free Toys Act’ in December 2015. The adopted proposal was finalized on 28 January, 2016.

 The new law, codified as ‘ Local Law No1 for 2016 (The Toxic Free Toys Act)' [3], was filed with the New York State Secretary of State on 18 February, 2016. It has two notable changes, including:

  • ŸMandating a specific total content value for each of antimony, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, cobalt, lead and mercury.
  • ŸDeclaring this Local Law to be preempted by state or federal laws if New York State or the US Federal Government has a final rule in effect with respect to a children’s product safety standard that relates to a specific hazard that conflicts with this Local law. This provision is essentially identical to the  ‘Toxic Free Toys Act’ under Rockland County in New York State [4] .

 This new law will take effect starting 1 July, 2016. 

 Albany County now joins Suffolk County [5] and Westchester County [6] in regulating certain chemicals in children’s products at the local government level in New York State.

 Highlights of this new Local Law in relation to Local Law 1 for 2015 are summarised in Table 1.

Table 1 - Albany County, New York State, US ‘Toxic Free Toys Act’

Local Law 1 for 2016 amending Local Law 1 for 2015 Local Law 1 for 2015 (Original law)
Scope Products and apparel for children aged 12 and under
Antimony ≤ 60 ppm Prohibited
Arsenic ≤ 25 ppm Prohibited
Benzene ≤ 100 ppm Prohibited
Cadmium ≤ 75 ppm Prohibited
Cobalt ≤ 40 ppm Prohibited

≤ 90 ppm (paints or similar surface coatings)

≤ 100 ppm (accessible substrates)

Mercury ≤ 60 ppm Prohibited
  • Children’s products that are sold or distributed for free at second-hand stores, on the internet, donated to charities or yard sales.
  • Protective sporting equipment designed to prevent injury such as knee pads or helmets.
Effective date 1 July, 2016 Amended by Local Law 1 of 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 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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