Behind seemingly friendly, brightly-colored face of the toy industry's trade association lies a more nefarious goal: laser-focused dedication to the bottom line of the companies it represents, at the cost of the health of children.
At nearly every turn, the advocacy organizations working for fair laws that protect the most vulnerable are opposed by industry organizations backed by billions of dollars of influence. After talking with experts throughout the country, we've noticed patterns in how the opposition defeats good bills, state by state.
In May, 2012, the Chicago Tribune wrote an investigative series uncovering dirty tactics by the chemical industry that insiders have known for some time.
Advocating for safer chemicals in the states can be a tough fight. Often states are up against big money, opponents who don't play fair, and messy politics. But we are still winning. In fact, policies that protect communities from toxic chemicals have been enacted in over 34 states. And those wins have led to protections well beyond the borders of those states.
When you buy your kid a sparkly new necklace, you should only have to worry about whether they'll like the style. But it turns out you need to be worried about something else—toxic metals.
We are disappointed to learn today that a new investigation uncovered nearly 25% of Walmart jewelry tested contained high levels of lead. As we all know, this isn't safe. Lead is a toxin that adversely affects brain development in children and affects the nervous system. It's one of the worst-of-the-worst chemicals: it builds up in humans and the environment, it does great harm, and it stays around for a very long time.
This year, at least 33 states—more than half the nation—will step up as defenders of public health. They will take the toxic bull by the horns and consider policies addressing the untested and toxic chemicals in everyday products.