The Toxic-Free Modernization Act (House Bill 3043) strengthens and modernizes the Toxic-Free Kids Act that was passed in 2015. It gives the Oregon Health Authority the ability to regulate chemicals by class and remove the limit on chemicals they can regulate, furthering the goal of limiting the amount of toxic chemicals that children are exposed to, and in turn, limit the toxic chemicals that make their way into the environment.
The bill passed the Oregon legislature in June, and was signed into law by Governor Kotek on Thursday.
There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, and most of them are put directly into use without testing the long-term consequences for the environment, or their impact on human and animal health.
Protecting Oregon’s children from toxic threats is critically important. Children are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals than adults, and exposure to chemicals as children can have long term health impacts.
Furthermore, the toxic chemicals that we use in consumer products –Heavy metals in toys and paint kits, Bisphenols in plastics, and PFAS “forever chemicals” in clothing and many others– eventually end up in landfills and our natural environment, especially our waterways, where they can impact wildlife or whole ecosystems, and in some cases, persist for decades.
“Parents shouldn’t have to worry if their kids’ products have dangerous, toxic chemicals in them. The Toxic-Free Kids Modernization Act will give Oregon more tools to protect our kids and our environment from toxic threats, and we are happy to see it signed into law,” said Celeste Meiffren-Swango, state director with Environment Oregon.