LANSING – State Representative Alberta Tinsley-Talabi (D-Detroit) recently introduced legislation that would better protect children from harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing of some children’s toys.
“We expect the toys and products we buy for children to be safe, yet with so many of those products made overseas, it’s hard to know if something is safe or if it’s made with a chemical that could seriously harm a child,” said Tinsley-Talabi. “My bills say that if you want to sell your products in Michigan, then you have to follow our rules so we can make an informed decision about buying those toys and products for our kids.”
House Bill 4795 requires manufacturers and distributors to report to the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) what harmful chemicals they use in the production of children’s toys and products that are sold in Michigan. The list would include “chemicals of concern” and “chemicals of greatest concern” – those known to cause cancer, reproductive or developmental harm, neurological damage or hormone disruption. The bills define a child as someone younger than 12. A child’s product is defined as intended primarily for use by or for the care of children. This would include products such as child care articles, baby products, child care seats, toys, and clothing or personal care products for children. Under House Bill 4796, manufacturers that fail to comply with the reporting requirements will be forced to pay penalties and could have their products pulled from the shelves. MDCH would regularly update the list and report to the Legislature every two years on its progress in identifying chemicals in these products and informing consumers about these chemicals.
“My bills put our kids’ safety before corporate profits,” said Tinsley-Talabi. “We love our kids and want to buy them products and toys that they can use safely and have fun with. My bills will give us the information we need to make the right purchase for the kids in our lives.”