Friedman advocates for bill to protect children from toxic chemicals

BOSTON – On July 8, Senator Cindy F. Friedman, D-Arlington, testified before the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on a bill she filed that would require the disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products. The bill was first filed in a previous session and spearheaded by Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington) and former Representative Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington), and has since been championed by Friedman.

“This is a commonsense proposal that simply asks that information be made publicly available about what is in products that are intended to be used by and for children,” said Friedman. “The passage of this bill would be a step toward transitioning to safer alternatives and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our children and other vulnerable populations in Massachusetts.”  

Scientific evidence increasingly indicates that a wide array of toxic chemicals we come into contact with each day in our homes, in our schools, and in the workplace are contributing to an epidemic of chronic diseases and disorders such as asthma, birth defects, cancers, developmental disabilities, diabetes, endometriosis, infertility, Parkinson’s disease, and others.

This bill, S.149, calls for the creation of a list of toxic chemicals in consumer products. Under the bill, manufacturers of certain products sold in Massachusetts that contain chemicals on the list would be required to report that information to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Products subject to reporting would include children’s products and “formulated products” – including cosmetics, cleaning products, certain products used in industrial settings, and other liquid products.

Criteria for disclosure would include chemicals recognized as carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins; chemicals recognized as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals; and chemicals recognized as endocrine disruptors. The DEP would be responsible for using the Interstate Chemical Clearinghouse (IC2) database to log all information about toxic chemicals in products sold in Massachusetts that are intended for use by children. The disclosed information would be made publicly available in a bi-annual report and on the DEP’s website.

In concluding her testimony, Friedman urged the Committee to report the bill out favorably. To continue tracking the legislation, visit