Suffolk County in the state of New York has recently implemented measures to improve the effectiveness of its Toxic Free Toys Act. The new restrictions became effective on November 6, 2017.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 172/17

SafeGuardS Sweet baby holding bottle and drinking water

In July 2015, we informed you [1] that Suffolk County became the third county in the US state of New York to regulate certain chemicals (antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, mercury and lead) in children’s products at the local government level. The enforcement of that law, the so-called ‘Toxic Free Toys Act’ (Local Law No. 22-2015 and codified as Chapter 704 of the Suffolk County Code [2]) has been postponed due to a series of legal challenges.

On October 23, 2017, the County Executive of Suffolk County approved Resolution No. 884-2017 [3] (Local Law No. 26 of 2017) to amend the county’s Toxic Free Toys Act. The amendment contains a number of important changes, including the following:

  • Heavy metals in children’s products regulated by statewide or federal legislation are obliged to comply with these laws, otherwise children’s products are obliged to comply with the requirements for antimony, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury under the Toxic Free Toys Act.

  • The requirements for cobalt have been deleted

  • The amended content limits apply to accessible materials in children’s products

  • The use of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology and other methods for off-site testing of children’s products that were selected from random inspection of at least ten retailers per quarter

According to filing records in the Office of the Secretary of State of New York [4], the new amendment became effective on November 6, 2017.

Highlights of the amendment under Local Law No. 26 of 2017 and a comparison with Local Law No. 22-2015 are summarized in below table.

New York Suffolk County
Chapter 704: Retail Sales; Article X: Toxic Children’s Products
Local Law No. 26 of 2017 amending
‘The Toxic Free Toys Act’
Local Law No. 22-2015
‘The Toxic Free Toys Act’
Children’s products*

Children’s products falling under statewide or federal legislation

Children’s products*

≤ 90 ppm (paints and similar surface coatings)

≤ 100 ppm** (substrates)

≤ 90 ppm (paints and similar surface coatings)

≤ 100 ppm (substrates)

≤ 60 ppm**

Comply with statewide or

federal legislation

≤ 40 ppm
≤ 25 ppm**
≤ 40 ppm
≤ 75 ppm**
≤ 75 ppm
≤ 40 ppm
≤ 60 ppm**
≤ 40 ppm
Effective Date
  • November 6, 2017
  • December 1, 2017 for random inspection of no more than 10 children’s products from at least 10 retailers per quarter

July 2016

(Stay of enforcement)


*Products for children aged 12 or under

**Content in accessible materials

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.

Next step:

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest requirements under ‘The Toxic Free Toys Act’ for the New York Suffolk County market.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

Read more articles for the Consumer Goods and Retail industry

© SGS Group Management SA - 2017 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.