For the first time, thanks to the Maine 2008 Kids Safe Products Act, companies have reported to the State of Maine that we can find two chemicals of high concern, BPAs and NPEs, in common household products like paint, plastic toys, and personal care products. This public disclosure revealed that more than 650 brand name products contain one of these two chemicals. The full report is available here.
One of the hardest things about being a parent today is figuring out what type of gear, out of the myriad possibilities that exist, we need for our babies and children. You have to think about cost, color, materials, usefulness, and a hundred other things. You need a pacifier? What color? What size? What’s it made of? The choices are endless.
Then you have to launch an online investigation into all the chemicals used in the manufacture of the product?
Yeah, right. No parent I know has the time to do that level of research, and I’m sure even fewer have the inclination. That’s why Maine’s Kid Safe Products Act is so important, and such a needed safety net for the next generation. With the public disclosure required by the Kid Safe Products Act, consumers can simply check out databases like the one at HealthyStuff.org and know right away if the item they own or might acquire contains any chemicals of concerns.
Without the Kid Safe Product Act here in Maine, this information would not be available. Anywhere. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t know what’s in these products, because there is no federal law requiring companies to disclose that information. But with more state legislation like this, here in Maine and elsewhere, addressing more chemicals of concern, corporations will finally be held accountable for what they put into their products.
Think about it: If companies know they will have to admit to using BPA or NPEs or other chemicals of concern in their products, you can bet they will start looking harder for an alternative.
I envision a day when every product on the market is free from any chemical of concern, and the only decision we’ll have left to make is a simple one: Do we want the blue, or the pink? For that to happen, we need reforms to our broken federal safety laws. But for now, one state has managed to improve the health and well being of our kids.