Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York

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Action Needed: Possible New Regulations to Children's Products in NY

June 17, 2019 1:25 PM | Donna-Jean Plante (Administrator)

Below is the letter PPAI wrote to the Governor of New York to urge his veto of the proposed bill which has some similarities to Prop 65.  

Here’s the link to an article that discusses the bill. The law has passed both chambers of New York’s legislature but reportedly hasn’t been sent to the governor’s office for his signature yet.

You are encouraged to take action on this by clicking here.

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The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) is writing to express concerns with Senate bill 501 which proposes to establish chemical reporting and restrictions for children’s products. This bill would create a costly regulatory program that is inconsistent with similar laws in other states, and unnecessary when a new federal law regulating chemicals is currently being implemented.

PPAI is the not-for-profit trade association representing nearly 16,000 member companies. There are over 1,800 promotional products companies in New York state, providing over 24,000 jobs. The promotional products industry’s economic impact in New York is estimated to be $1.3 billion.

PPAI commends the sponsor’s interest in assuring that children’s products are safe, and our members share this interest. PPAI supports appropriate and strong children’s safety and chemical regulations at the federal level. However, we have some serious concerns with unique state chemical and product requirements such as those in S 501.

Ignores existing laws regulating children’s products

All children’s product sold in the U.S. must also comply with numerous federal safety and environmental regulations under a variety of laws and regulations including:

▪ The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) signed into law in 2008,

▪ The Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA),

▪ The Child Safety Protection Act (CSPA),

▪ The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA),

▪ The ASTM Safety Specification on Toys (which was adopted as a mandatory federal standard on February 10, 2009), and

▪ The Toxic Substances Control Act.

These statutes and ensuing regulations administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission already provide that any children's products that present any hazardous exposure to a child cannot be legally sold in the United States.

The proposed legislation seeks to restrict several chemicals that are already regulated under existing federal law for children’s products. The CPSA’s preemption provision provides:

"Whenever a consumer product safety standard under this chapter is in effect and applies to a risk of injury associated with a consumer product, no State or political subdivision of a State shall have any authority

either to establish or to continue in effect any provision of a safety standard or regulation which prescribes any requirements as to the performance, composition, contents, design, finish, construction, packaging, or labeling of such product which are designed to deal with the same risk of injury associated with such consumer product, unless such requirements are identical to the requirements of the Federal standard".

If the proposed legislation were to pass, several provisions of the law would be preempted under federal law. PPAI continues to support strong federal regulations for children’s products that are safety-based so fun and safe products can be sold across the nation.

Additionally, Congress recently passed a law to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and strengthen federal regulation of chemicals in commerce. Under the new law, the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act (LSCA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has expanded authority to inventory and review chemicals, and timelines to complete chemicals evaluations. Specifically, all active chemicals must undergo screening for prioritization & possible risk evaluation. High priority chemicals will undergo a full evaluation of hazards, uses and exposures to determine risk and must consider groups like pregnant women, children, the elderly & workers.

States can take an active role in the new system by directly participating in the risk evaluations or providing input and data to the EPA.

The recent overhaul of the federal chemicals management system should be given a chance to achieve its goals before states enact new laws continuing a complex patchwork of chemical regulation.

Inconsistent with other state laws

The chemical disclosure program proposed in this bill would be inconsistent with similar programs in Washington, Vermont, and Oregon. S501 does not differentiate between chemicals which are intentionally added and those which are contaminants and may be naturally occurring. This difference will make reporting in New York extremely costly and inconsistent.

Broad Authority and Lack of Scientific Evaluation

S501 proposes to give the Department of Environmental Conservation broad authority to list chemicals for reporting and restrictions without specific scientific criteria or a safety-based decision-making framework.

The legislation proposes a system for reporting chemicals that are on the list of “dangerous chemicals” and “chemical of concern” based on the presence of the chemicals without consideration of exposure and risk. The presence of a chemical does not automatically mean it will cause harm. Policies that seek to provide public information and/or restrict the use of certain chemicals or products must be based on credible, safety- based science and should include full consideration of the level of exposure and harm.

Creates a complex and costly regulatory program

No amount of money is too great to protect children but increasing costs without increasing safety is a concern for the industry. State-based standards that are inconsistent with international, federal or other state requirements make compliance difficult and costly, threatening the viability of children’s product manufacturers, distributors and retailers in New York. Ensuring compliance with the new requirements of this bill would mandate the creation of extensive data collection and submission systems, additional product testing and require extensive resources for companies and the State.

The State will be required to implement a chemical assessment, reporting and consumer notification program, and create a complex enforcement system. The resource burden of this program would increase

over time to continually review and certify products for sale in New York and could jeopardize the viability of many businesses in New York and around the country. 96% of promotional products industry manufacturers and distributors are small businesses. For product manufacturers – especially small and medium sized companies – this type of state-based program is extremely costly and will not result in measurable improvements to public health.

Additionally, this bill would require the department of state to notify consumers about children's products containing priority chemicals for disclosure. This would further increase the fiscal impact that this legislation would have on the State of New York.

PPAI urges you to veto this bill.

On behalf of the over 16,000 members of PPAI, and the promotional products industry in New York, we thank you for your consideration of our concerns. PPAI would be happy to address any questions related to this issue. Please feel free to contact Anne Stone at AnneS@ppai.org or 972-258-3041 for more information.


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