The Vermont Senate has approved House amendments to a bill (S. 239) that would allow the state’s Department of Health (DOH) to regulate chemicals in children’s products. Known as the “Toxic-Free Families Act,” the bill would define children’s products as any consumer product marketed for use by (or marketed to), sold, offered for sale, or distributed to children younger than age 12, including toys, cosmetics, jewelry, clothing, car seats, and products for teething, sucking, or for the facilitation of sleep, relaxation, or feeding. The bill would exempt consumer electronics, packaging, food and beverages, and other products.
Identifying chemicals of “high concern” to children, the bill would direct DOH to create and maintain a list of purportedly hazardous chemicals. Beginning July 1, 2016, the bill would require manufacturers to submit a notice for each “chemical of high concern” in children’s products where “the chemical is intentionally added to a children’s product at a level above the Practical Quantification Limit (PQL) produced by the manufacturer.” Notices must also be submitted when a chemical of high concern is present in a children’s product at a concentration of 100 parts per million or greater, and a $200 fee would be assessed for each notice submitted. The bill awaits Gov. Peter Shumilin’s (D) signature.