Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-Montpelier) has signed into law a bill (S. 239) to regulate the use of toxic chemicals in children’s products. Called the “Toxic-Free Families Act,” the law will allow state regulators to restrict the use of toxic chemicals considered to be hazardous in products designed for children. The measure will adopt a list of 66 chemicals of “high concern” identified by other states and the European Union and provide authority for chemicals to be added or removed through rulemaking. It will also establish a working group including governor-appointed scientists, health experts, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to advise the state health commissioner on possible additions to the list.
Under the new law, manufacturers must report a list of chemicals used in their products to the state beginning July 1, 2016. To date, Vermont has restricted the use of bisphenol A, some phthalates, some polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants, and some chlorinated phosphate flame retardants in children’s products and a limited number of consumer products. See Gov. Shumlin News Release, June 10, 2014.