New Act Would Help Parents Keep Children Safe from Toxins

February 2015

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New Act Would Help Parents Keep Children Safe from Toxins
The 2015 NC Toxic-Free Kids Act would protect children from toxic chemicals linked to cancer, autism, and asthma.

RALEIGH, NC—Yesterday, Sen. Stan Bingham (R-Davidson) introduced the Toxic-Free Kids Act, a common sense bill that would help to ensure children’s products are safe before they ever reach the homes of North Carolina families. Because it can be impossible for parents to tell the difference between a toxic product and a safe one, legislation is required to give families comfort and assurance about the children’s products they use.

“This is an important first step to protect children and families from toxic chemicals in North Carolina,” Michelle Hughes, Executive Director of NC Child, a statewide child advocacy group. “Parents shouldn’t have to wonder whether the bottles, car seats, pacifiers, and changing pads they use every day are making their child sick or preventing healthy brain development.”

The bill would ban the use of three of the worst toxic chemicals used in children’s products: bisphenol A (BPA), TRIS flame retardants, and phthalates.

“Keeping our children safe is our most important job as parents,” said Beth Messersmith, NC Campaign Director of Moms Rising. “Yet, so many of the products we use every day contain chemicals that are dangerous for kids. This bill is critical for families in North Carolina.”

BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical commonly found in baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant formula packaging. It has been linked to diabetes, obesity, and cancer, and the United States Food and Drug Administration has cited concerns about BPA’s effect on children’s brains, behavior, and endocrine glands.

TRIS flame retardants, which can cause leukemia (the most common childhood cancer), are used in car seats, baby changing pads, and baby carriers. Phthalates are routinely used in baby shampoos and lotions, and have also been found in pacifiers, rattlers, teethers, and infant formula. Phthalate exposure can cause birth defects, shortened pregnancy, behavioral problems, lower IQ, and liver and kidney damage.

“We’re grateful for Sen. Bingham’s leadership on this issue and we hope that all of our state’s lawmakers seize on this opportunity to protect the health and safety of our youngest citizens,” said Michelle Hughes of NC Child.