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Parents, Kids, Doctors, Nurses and Giant Duck Demand Toxic-Free Toys

Urge legislators to pass Children's Safe Products Act

For Immediate Release: February 7, 2008
Contact: Ivy Sager-Rosenthal, Washington Toxics Coalition, 206-854-7623; Jim Dawson, Washington Toxics Coalition,

Olympia, Wash. — Joined by a giant 20-foot yellow rubber duck, nearly 100 parents, kids, doctors, and nurses rallied at the state Capitol today in support of toxic-free toys. They gathered on the Capitol steps and asked state legislators to pass the Children’s Safe Products Act (HB 2647/ SB 5630), which will eliminate lead, cadmium, and phthalates from toys and other children’s products and require manufacturers to disclose the other chemicals in their products that can cause harm to children.

Speaking to the crowd, Executive Director, Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner, herself a concerned parent, said, “Parents should not have to worry about poisoning their children when they buy toys. The Children's Safe Products Act is common-sense legislation that will help keep our children healthy and out of harm's way. There is absolutely no reason for Washington legislators to delay in passing this crucial bill. Our children's lives and welfare depend on it."

Many doctors, and nurses, and other health professionals voiced concern about children’s exposures to toxic chemicals from toys. They delivered a letter to legislators, signed by nearly 100 Washington state health professionals, urging passage of the legislation.

At the rally, Dr. Laura Hart, President of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, told supporters, “Children are especially vulnerable to exposures from toxic chemicals. Even low levels of chemicals are linked to harm to reproductive development, learning, and health. Washington State has an opportunity and a responsibility now to eliminate these chemicals from toys and other children’s products and safeguard children’s health and futures.”

The sponsor of the legislation, Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36), told the crowd, “I introduced this bill to protect our state's dearest resource—our children. Dangerous toxic chemicals have no place in the products our children use everyday. Kids can't protect themselves against toxic toys, but we can protect them if we pass this reform without delay!”

Attendees at the rally also delivered over 2000 postcards, signed by concerned parents, grandparents, and other consumers, to legislators urging swift passage of the legislation.

In a gentle breeze, the giant rubber duck nodded approvingly throughout the rally saying, “No More Toxic Toys! Don’t Duck Out On Children’s Health!”

HB 2647 passed the House Select Committee on Environmental Health last week. The bill is now in the House Appropriations Committee. SB 5630, sponsored by Senator Debbie Regala (D-27), passed the Senate Water, Energy, and Telecommunications Committee last week and is currently in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Over 30 groups have endorsed the legislation, including, the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Lung Association of Washington, Breast Cancer Fund, Children's Alliance, Community Coalition for Environmental Justice, Earth Ministry, Environment Washington, Institute for Children's Environmental Health, League of Women Voters of Washington, People For Puget Sound, Planned Parenthood Public Policy Network of WA, Washington Conservation Voters, Washington Environmental Council, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Washington State Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Washington State Medical Association, Washington State Nurses Association, Washington Toxics Coalition, WashPIRG, and The Lands Council.