Policy Update

At Least 30 States to Tackle Children’s Health and Toxics in 2011



NCEL Point of Contact


State legislators in at least 30 states plan to protect public health by introducing legislation during the 2011 legislative sessions to better regulate toxic chemicals found in children’s products
and everyday household items. Most of the legislators, many who are members of the National Caucus of
Environmental Legislators (NCEL), feel they need to act because Federal laws are too weak or Congress has failed to keep certain toxics, like bisphenol-A and cadmium, out of products designed for kids.

“As long as the Federal government continues to delay action in reforming our nation’s toxics laws to ensure the safety of chemicals used in everyday products, my colleagues and I will continue our efforts in state legislatures to protect our children’s health from dangerous chemicals,” said National Caucus of Environmental Legislators President, Maryland Delegate James W. Hubbard.

If Federal efforts to reform the nation’s toxics laws remain stalled, it appears that state legislatures will continue to be the focus of debate over how to better regulate chemicals used in products designed for children.

“Over the years, we’ve seen real leadership coming from the states and state legislators who understand the harm toxic chemicals can cause to human health,” said NCEL’s Executive Director, Adam Schafer. “Each year, more and more states are looking at ways to get at these toxics, and legislators’ interest in these issues will not go away anytime soon,” he said.


Policies to be considered in 2011 state legislatures include:

Comprehensive State Laws: Nine states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Washington and Vermont, will be introducing or have introduced policies to change the way we regulate chemicals at the state level.

BPA Phase Outs: At least seventeen states will be introducing or have introduced policies to restrict the use of BPA in infant formula cans, receipt paper, baby bottles and/or sippy cups including: Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and the District of Columbia.

State TSCA Resolutions: At least eleven states will be calling on the 112th U.S. Congress to bring our federal chemicals policy into the 21st century:  Alaska, California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

Banning Cadmium in Children’s Products: At least eight states will be introducing or have introduced policies to ban the use of cadmium in children’s products, including: Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York.

Deca BDE (toxic flame retardant) Phase Outs: At least three states will be introducing or have introduced policies to reduce exposure to deca BDE, including: Alaska, Massachusetts, New York and the District of Columbia.

Legislation planned: Chemical safety legislation is also planned in South Dakota.

A map of the US showing states that are introducing reform can be found here: