New bill could find toxic chemicals in children’s products

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A bill proposed in Hartford on Thursday would try to answer the question of whether there are harmful chemicals in every-day products that your children use.

“What it is, is the industry submits its own data and it’s given cursory review by many of our large federal agencies,” Rep. Philip Miller, Essex.

That is why lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would have the Commissioner of Public Health identify chemicals that are bad for kids and then warn parents about products that contain them.

“There is growing consensus that in fact this is a problem and we’ve learned more over the last 30 years. We’ve learned these chemicals do in fact expose children,” said Anne Hulick, Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Connecticut.

What chemicals are we talking about? The government already banned plenty of things that are clearly harmful, like the chemical BPA. It was banned from one thing, but now it’s showing up in others.

“We’re finding BPA, a substance that is an endocrine disruptor and banned in baby bottles and recyclable containers, now showing up in toys and dolls. We’re finding parabins, a known carcinogen, in personal care products targeted for children. We’re finding formaldehyde in children’s clothing and table ware of all things. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen,” said Hulick.

Some chemicals act as flame retardants in clothes, mattresses and changing pads. They are supposed to keep kids safer, but today’s kids might be facing new threats.

“There’s a whole new generation of people and some of the critics scoff at the idea and say better living through chemistry, but we’re seeing some problems,” said Rep. Miller.

They hope that these studies will identify whether the problem of rising rates of autism and cancer are related to the chemicals.

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