An Act Relating to Disclosure of Toxic Chemicals
in Consumer Products
Sponsor: Senator Ken Donnelly
Sponsor: Representative Jay Kaufman
Scientific evidence increasingly indicates that a wide array of toxic chemicals we come into contact with in our everyday lives; in our homes, schools, and workplaces, are contributing to an epidemic of chronic diseases and disorders such as asthma, birth defects, cancers, developmental disabilities, diabetes, endometriosis, infertility, Parkinson’s disease, and others. Safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals are readily available.
Urging manufacturers to choose these alternatives will not only help prevent widespread suffering, it will reduce the burden on our economy by averting high health care and special education costs as well as lost work days due to illness. A first step towards making the transition to safer alternatives is to find out what is being used in the products that we come into contact with every day.
What the bill does:
The Toxic Chemical Disclosure Bill calls for the creation of a list of “toxic chemicals in consumer products.” Manufacturers of certain products sold in Massachusetts that contain chemicals on that list will be required to report that information to the state. Products subject to reporting will include children’s products and “formulated products”—including cosmetics, cleaning products, certain products used in industrial settings, and other liquid products. Criteria for disclosure will include chemicals recognized as carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins; chemicals recognized as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals; and chemicals recognized as endocrine disruptors. The disclosed information will be made publicly available in a bi-annual report and on the state’s website.
We need strong laws that will protect our health and keep these toxic hazards out of our bodies and communities. Understanding the prevalence of toxic chemicals in our daily lives will help us take additional steps forward to protect the public from harm.
Massachusetts does not stand alone!
The states of Washington, Maine, and Vermont have all passed similar disclosure legislation. Just like our proposed bill in Massachusetts, the laws in these states are making available important information that will help the states to protect the health, safety and welfare of children and other vulnerable populations. The Massachusetts Bill is closely modeled after the successful program in Washington State.