Protects infants and young children from toxic chemical exposure
Madison – Today, Rep. Kelda Roys (D-Madison) and Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) circulated for Co-Sponsorship the Baby Bedding Protection Act. This legislation would require that baby bedding products be labeled if they contain the chemical toxins PVC, DEPH or PBDE.
Last session Rep. Roys and Sen. Lassa teamed up and authored the BPA-Free Kids Act, which banned the toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) from baby bottles and cups. The BPA-Free Kids Act passed with near-unanimous bipartisan support and banned the manufacture and sale in Wisconsin of children’s bottles and cups that contain BPA and required labeling.
Rep. Kelda Helen Roys issued the following statement:
“The passage of the BPA-Free Kids Act prioritized children’s health and safety over big chemical companies. The Baby Bedding Protection Act builds upon our work and further protects babies from toxic chemical exposure.
“Many bedding products contain harmful chemicals. Parents shopping for bedding have no easy way of knowing if bedding is safe. Parents deserve to know if they are buying products that could harm or negatively impact their baby’s development. We have a responsibility to protect the health and well-being of young children, who are more negatively impacted by chemical exposure than adults.”
Sen. Julie Lassa issued the following statement:
“These toxins are emitted by the bedding materials and can be inhaled and absorbed through the mouth and skin,” Sen. Lassa said. “PVC is a known carcinogen, and DEHP and PBDE cause internal organ damage and other diseases. These chemicals are already controlled in the United States, but consumers can’t be sure what chemicals may be in bedding produced in other countries. Parents need to be informed about these hazards so they can protect their children from these toxic chemicals.”
What the Baby Bedding Protection Act does
- Requires conspicuously marked labeling on packaging of bedding products for children aged 3 and under if they contain any or all of the following chemicals
- PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
- DEHP [Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate]
- PBDE (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers)
- Penalties are the same as those that currently exist in state statutes for manufacturing or selling baby bottles and sippy cups that contain the BPA.
Toxic Chemicals and Their Effects
- Considered one of the most toxic and environmentally unfriendly plastics in use
- Made from vinyl chloride, which is a combination of petroleum (ethylene) and chlorine, and is a known human carcinogen
- Found in bedding products, it is usually combined with phthalates (see DEHP info below)
- A type of phthalate used in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and used to make hard plastics, such as PVCs, flexible
- A probable carcinogen, according to the National Resources Defense Council.
- Like BPA, DEHP disrupts the endocrine system and is associated with reproductive harm
- Animal studies show that exposure to DEHP can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system
- Chemicals can leach out of the plastic so babies breathe them in and absorb them through their skin
- Products containing DEHP sold in Europe must be labeled with the "skull and crossbones" symbol and warning text reading “TOXIC”
- A flame retardant used in plastics, foams, and fabrics, that is structurally related to PCBEs – which were banned in the 1970s
- Canada has banned two large groups of PBDEs
- US stopped production of this chemical in 2004, but it is still produced in other countries and used in products sold in the US
- EPA must be notified 90 days prior to manufacture or import, of any use of PBDEs in US products
- Concerns include bio-accumulation, limited biodegradability, and possible liver, thyroid, and neurodevelopmental toxicity