REGION & STATE: New Vermont rule bans toxic chemicals in toys

By Mike Polhamus

For Vermont Digger

A new rule approved by lawmakers requires companies that manufacture children’s toys to disclose the presence of 66 known toxins in their products.

The rule surpasses one adopted by the state of Washington in 2008, by requiring manufacturers to identify specific toys that contain a set of substances known as “chemicals of high concern.”

Critics say the rule will burden Vermont industries with costly new testing requirements for chemicals at levels below those known to cause health risks.

“For someone like a one-, two-, three-person shop, I think it could be pretty difficult to comply with,” said William Driscoll, vice-president of Associated Industries of Vermont. “We’re in uncharted territory with this — no other state in the country requires this level of testing and reporting.

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