Officials in the state of Washington are taking the lead on keeping kids safe from toxic chemicals with a new policy that will require companies large and small to produce detailed reports on toxic chemicals that are used to make their products.
Under the new regulations, manufacturers of products intended for sale in Washington would be required to report how much of the chemicals are in their products and how the products will being used, such as to kill germs or to harden plastics. The rules would apply to manufacturers as well as to retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that directly import products into the U.S.
The agency released the proposed rules Monday and expects to finalize them early next year. Reporting would begin in 2012 for the largest manufacturers, or those with gross sales of more than $1 billion. It would phase in over the next several years for smaller companies.
The chemicals in question include cadmium, formaldehyde, benzene and bisphenol A. State officials came up with 59 chemicals of concern from about 2,000 prospective chemicals that cause cancer and harm fetal development, among other factors.
The chemicals on the list are toxic, and have been found in children's products or have been found present in human tissues, such as blood or breast milk.