NY State Legislation to Reduce Exposures to Toxic Chemicals

As the 2021 legislative session gets into gear, NRDC will once again be engaged on bills related to environmental health and reducing exposures to toxic chemicals.

Ending Unnecessary Uses of Toxic Flame Retardant Chemicals

Image by Vidmir Raic from Pixabay

Today, New York State Assembly Member Englebright introduced a bill to match Senator Kaminsky’s earlier introduction of a bill to ban toxic flame retardant chemicals in furniture and mattresses. Given the state’s huge market, the bill would not only protect the health of New Yorkers, but would also help eradicate the remaining uses of these toxic chemicals in these products on the East Coast. The bill would additionally phase out organohalogen flame retardant chemicals in electronic display casings and stands, following the lead of the European Union—this would mark the first U.S. state to take action on these products. The bill would also require reporting to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation on the alternatives used to replace the organohalogen flame retardants. NRDC is a strong supporter of the bill and is working with many other New York advocates to advance the bill.

Flame retardant chemicals are associated with serious health effects, from cancer and reproductive harm to learning disabilities to interference with the normal operation of hormones. What’s worse, firefighters and children face especially high risks from these chemicals.

Hazardous chemicals migrate out of every day products and building materials and collect in dust.

(Image courtesy my colleague, Veena Singla)

Consumer Product Ingredient Disclosure

Ingredient disclosure for consumer products continues to be a key issue. We are once again supporting a bill that would require disclosure of ingredients, particularly chemicals of concern, in personal care products. The bill would also ban certain harmful chemicals in these products that have already been banned in other states and countries.

Currently, not all ingredients in personal care products have to be disclosed. But, consumers have a right to information about what they are bringing into their homes and putting on their bodies and should have access to information on ingredients. Regulators also need the information to address concerns about chemicals of concern in such products.

We continue to support this and other efforts to ensure that consumers have the information they need about ingredients in the products they bring into their homes.

This blog provides general information, not legal advice. If you need legal help, please consult a lawyer in your state.

About the Authors

Avinash Kar

Senior Attorney & Senior Director, Health & Food, Healthy People & Thriving Communities Program
Blog Post

When Governor Brown entered office eight years ago, he took action to fix the regulation that was driving the use of pounds of toxic flame retardant chemicals in couches in California, across the country, and even into Canada. With his signature on AB 2998 on Saturday, September 29, he put an end to the practice for good in California.

Blog Post

We know that toxic chemicals are like a finger pushing down on the scale, increasing kid’s risks for these neurodevelopmental disorders—and if this weight was gone, we could lift a significant burden of these diseases off America’s children.

Blog Post

Flame retardant chemicals have been linked to a variety of adverse health effects, including impaired brain development, reproductive problems, and cancers. Firefighters and children face especially high exposures and risks.

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