• Oregon House approves bill on chemicals in kids’ products

    SALEM — The Oregon House soundly approved legislation Friday to require companies to report potentially hazardous chemicals in children’s products.

    Senate Bill 478, approved 43-17, would require the manufacturers and importers of children’s products to report 66 “high priority chemicals of concern” — including formaldehyde, arsenic and mercury — to the Oregon Health Authority or Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse, and create an eight-year phase-out from select products.

    Proponents said the provisions would inform parents on the presence of the chemicals, some of which have been linked to diseases and developmental disabilities.

    “The science is not 100 percent conclusive, but I think the overwhelming amount (of evidence) is there,” said Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, one of eight Republicans who voted yes.

    The bill is modeled after a Washington law enacted in 2009 that requires manufacturers and importers to report potentially dangerous chemicals in car seats, clothes, cosmetics and other children’s products.

    Oregon lawmakers had introduced legislation to regulate potentially toxic chemicals in children’s products during the last two sessions, but the bills didn’t have enough support to pass.

    Opponents argued the SB 478 would have little impact, and would drive consumers to buy the same products in other states or online.

    “We’re such a small player, it’s not going to make these markets change,” said Rep. Jim Weidner, R-Yahmill.

    The bill now heads to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.

    Jacy Marmaduke contributed to this report.

    — Ian K. Kullgren


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