Albany Roadblock: Child Safe Products Act to Protect Kids from Worst Offending Chemicals, Advocates Say
May 31, 2015
by Mike Clifford
ALBANY, N.Y. – The Senate Environmental Committee gets back to work Tuesday, but one item not on the agenda is a measure that has wide bipartisan support that would protect New York children from unsafe products.
Saima Anjam, environmental health director of Environmental Advocates of New York, says the Child Safe Products Act has 40 co-sponsors, but Senate leadership is putting up roadblocks that prevent lawmakers from even discussing these important safeguards.
“So, this bill would protect children from the worst offending chemicals in the toys that they play with, the mattresses that they sleep on, the products they use every day,” Anjam states.
Committee chair, Sen. Tom O’Mara (R-Finger Lakes) told reporters last week he was not allowing a vote on the Child Safe Products Act, because he was working on a compromise.
The bill has bipartisan support, but is opposed by the American Chemical Industry Council and the Toy Industry Association.
Anjam says with the recent changing of the guard in Albany resulting from corruption charges, the new Republican leadership promised to be responsive to the public. That’s why she says she can’t understand why this bill can’t even get a committee hearing.
“There are conservatives on this bill, there are liberals on this bill,” she points out. “There is support on Long Island, there is support in the Hudson Valley, in Albany, in Buffalo. It’s very disturbing to us that it’s not being brought to the floor for a vote.”
Anjam says the chemicals her group is targeting have a long track record of harmful health consequences.
“A lot of these chemicals are things that we know a lot about,” she states. “And yet we’re finding that manufacturers are still using mercury, they’re using cadmium in their toys. It’s kind of incredible. ”
Anjam says the measure passed the Assembly with wide support for three years in a row.
PHOTO: A bill is pending in Albany that would remove dangerous toys from the shelves, but advocates say leaders of the senate are putting up roadblocks. Photo credit: Mike Clifford
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