Urgent Action Needed on NY’s Child Safe Products Act

Blog Bob Rossi, Director, NYSSBC

The Child Safe Products Act (CSPA) is sitting on Governor Cuomo’s desk and we need your help to get it signed into law. The Governor has between now and February 7th to decide whether to sign or veto this bill, which has been a decade in the making.

This monumental bill, which passed the NYS Senate and Assembly with bipartisan support, lays out an intelligent framework for identifying and requiring disclosure of harmful chemicals in children’s products, and also bans the most harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos. Innovations in the chemical industry have far outpaced effective regulation of new chemicals and continue to negatively impact our most vulnerable, our future workforce, our economy, and the ability of responsible businesses to compete in a poorly regulated space.

This bill can break that cycle… IF it gets signed in the next week. You can help make that happen. As a responsible business owner, you offer a critical voice on this issue. Governor Cuomo has just a few days left to make a decision on this bill, and he is certainly under large corporate pressure to veto or dilute the bill. It is critical that his office also hears from business leaders like you.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. To better understand the business and economic benefits of the Child Safe Products Act, we invite you to review NYSBC’s one-page memo of support.
  2. If helpful for you: There are 6 bulleted points in that memo, some apply to specific sectors (eg, retail, manufacturing, green chemistry) and some apply to all of us. Identify the points that you can speak to from your own business experience and values.
  3. Call the Governor’s office at 518-474-8390, introduce yourself and your business, urge him to sign the Child Safe Products Act into law, and offer the reasons you’ve outlined above. If helpful, see sample script below.
  4. Then, please let us know that you took action. Contact us by email or comment on our facebook post and tag friends or share the post. Your action will inspire others!
  5. Are you on Twitter?  Here’s a sample tweet.  Add to it or modify as you see fit.

Our company works to ensure products are safe, and customers deserve to know when harmful chemicals are in products for kids. That’s why we stand with @NewYorkSBC & @ASBCouncil and urge @NYGovCuomo to sign the #ChildSafeProductsAct. #nontoxicny

Note: When calling the Governor’s office, know that there are thousands of parents and environmentalists calling for this bill and large corporations fighting it. That makes it appear to our lawmakers that this issue is parents/environmentalists vs business/economy. It’s not. By focusing on your business perspective, you have the power to dismantle that false narrative.

Here’s a testimonial from a New York State skateboard manufacturer with a global market:

“It is entirely possible to build products—even durable products that require strong adhesives—without using formaldehyde. Since 1997, Comet Skateboards has been building skateboards to withstand constant thrashing from people of all ages and sizes. We do so using industry standard formaldehyde-free adhesives like Franklin Multibond 4000 FF. Avoiding the use of formaldehyde is not a barrier. It’s a decision. The more companies make this simple decision, the more options will arise from green tech innovators.”
— Jason Salfi, President of Comet Skateboards

Sample Business Script   (Add to it or modify with your reasoning from step #2 above.)

Hi, I am XXXX from XXXXX company, and we support the Child Safe Products Act. I’m calling to urge the Governor to sign the bill — because it will help create a level playing field for responsible businesses including the many companies that manufacture or carry sustainable products. We believe customers deserve to know when harmful chemicals are in products for kids.

It’s important to us that this bill achieve the following:

  • Require product makers to tell us if harmful chemicals are in what they sell.
  • Require manufacturers to phase out the most toxic chemicals—like formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos—in children’s products.
  • Create a way to report and restrict additional dangerous chemicals in children’s products in an ongoing process that solves this problem once and for all.

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