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New York Law Extends Child Product Bans
Vol. 847 
September 1, 2011

New York has become the first state to prohibit the sale of children’s products that contain the flame retardant chemical TRIS, which studies have shown can cause cancer. The ban, which will take effect on December 1, 2013, is tied to a recently passed law in New York called the Tris-Free Children and Babies Act. "The signing of this bill is a major step forward in protecting our children from the dangers of TRIS, and parents should welcome this new safeguard as an important cautionary measure for the future health of children," said State Senator Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo), who co-sponsored the measure.

Specifically, the legislation bans the sale of items like baby toys, car seats, crib mattresses and strollers that are intended for use by children three years old and younger. Violators would be charged $1,000 per day for a first offense and up to $2,500 for a second offense. TRIS has a long history of scrutiny by regulators and was banned from use in children's clothing in 1977 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Yet, the chemical remains prevalent in the foam padding of numerous products, including nursing pillows and booster seats.

"For years this product has been known as a potential carcinogenic and appropriately banned from children's clothing, and it is long overdue that we extend these protections to other child care products," said Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). "This new law will continue our efforts to protect children from potentially hazardous chemicals."

In addition to linking TRIS to cancer, laboratory studies have also shown the chemical can cause problems with fertility and neurological development. Earlier this year, researchers at Duke University found toxic or untested chemical flame retardants in 80% of the baby products they tested. TRIS was found in one-third of those products.

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