House Votes to Protect Kids, Environment From Toxic Chemicals

The Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act will protect vulnerable Oregonians, spur innovation


June 18, 2013 – Today the Oregon House of Representatives took an important step to protect Oregon’s children and environment by approving The Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act, House Bill 3162.
HB 3162 requires large manufacturers to report if any of 19 dangerous chemicals are used in their children’s products, and to phase out chemicals from certain high-exposure products over five years.
“We need to step up and protect our children from needless exposure to chemicals that could make them sick,” said Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (D – Portland), a chief sponsor of the bill. “Oregon is consistently leading efforts to create a healthier environment, and this is a sensible step forward.”
The Act establishes an efficient, science-based system to identify the 19 chemicals that pose the greatest risk to children’s health when they exist in toys or other children’s products. As it stands, this information is unavailable to concerned parents and health officials who need more data in order to address rising rates of disease and make smart investments in preventative health.
By phasing out toxic chemicals from the products that young children touch, put in their mouths or inhale – such as teething rings and car seats – The Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act will protect Oregon’s kids from products with the greatest potential for causing health problems later in life.
“I’m a manufacturer who may be affected by this bill, so I asked some tough questions before deciding to sponsor it,” said Representative David Gomberg (D – Lincoln City). “The bottom line is that we don’t want to give bad things to kids. By setting up a reasonable process with minimal costs to manufacturers, this bill gives us a way to get there.”
The Oregon Health Authority will collect data on the 19 chemicals of concern and report back to the legislature. Similar legislation in Washington State and around the country is raising awareness among manufacturers about the harmful impacts of certain chemicals. 
“The demand for safer chemicals to use in these products is growing quickly, and innovative businesses in the supply chain will be rewarded,” said Representative Jules Bailey (D – Portland). “This is a smart policy for our kids, our environment, and our businesses.”
The Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act passed the House 39-21 and now heads to the Senate.
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