Chemical lobbyists killed Child Safe Products Act

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To the editor:

Despite support from businesses and organizations like ours (the NYS Sustainable Business Council) and others representing thousands of businesses across the state, 40 sponsors and overwhelming bipartisan support, the Senate did not pass the Child Safe Products Act (CSPA), S. 4614. This measure to protect children from toxic chemicals was not allowed a floor vote, in part due to false claims of negative impacts on New York’s businesses, jobs and economy.

That argument sets up an artificial choice between protecting children and what will benefit business. Limiting toxic chemicals in children’s products won’t hurt jobs — it will actually drive innovation, greater sales, and job growth. New York’s economy won’t be harmed by such a law, it will benefit from it. 

Inaction comes at high cost: handling and disposing of hazardous chemicals is an extra burden to business and diseases of environmental origin cost New York over $4.35 billion annually. 

According to the Green Transition Scoreboard® private investors have committed over $5.3 trillion to safer chemicals and clean technologies since 2007. Their activity is on track to reach $10 trillion by 2020.  

Investors get it. Consumers are demanding healthier products. Businesses are producing safer products. So what is the problem?

Contrary to the message of lobbyists for chemical companies who swarmed Albany, businesses will benefit from information the CSPA would provide, helping them respond to consumer demand and improve their bottom lines. 

It’s unfortunate our elected representatives did not respond appropriately to the desires of their electorate by passing S. 4614. 

Hilary Baum and Laura Niederhofer, 
NYS Sustainable Business Council  

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