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May. 13 US: Thousands of childrens products contain toxic chemicals, report says

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More than 5,000 products, including clothing, toys and bedding, contain toxic chemicals that could be dangerous for children’s health, yet stores still stock them and consumers know little about their content, an advocacy group reported this week.

“For most products in our homes, including children’s products, we simply don’t have standards,” said Erika Schreder, science director for the Washington Toxics Coalition and author of the report released on Wednesday based on toxic-chemical data from Washington state. “Manufacturers are allowed to use just about anything they want to.”

The report, called “Chemicals Revealed,” identified more than 5,000 products, such as footwear, car seats and arts and crafts supplies, that include developmental or reproductive toxins and carcinogens.

The report also found it may take several years to complete these initial risk assessments and, at the agency’s current pace, more than a decade to complete all 83. The EPA does not have the toxicity and exposure data needed for 58 of the 83 chemicals prioritized for risk assessment, the report found.

“The one saving grace of our national chemical policy is that it at least allows the states to act. Right now they are shedding the only light we have on what toxic chemicals end up in products,” said Andy Igrejas, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, an organization of state groups devoted to reducing the toxicity of consumer goods. MCT

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