Toxic Chemical Reform: Massachusetts Legislative Priorities in 2018

State Legislative Priorities

We have some new opportunities to make real progress towards protecting our health from toxic chemicals during the 2017-2018 legislative session in Massachusetts. Clean Water Action supports the following 4 bills that will help move that goal forward:

Protect our health from toxic chemicals, Support the following legislation:

An Act to protect children and families from harmful flame retardants

S.2555 (Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem; Joint Committee on Public Health)

H.4656 (Representative Marjorie Decker; Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security)

Toxic flame retardants are added to highchairs, car seats, nursing pads, furniture, carpet pads, electronic equipment (including toys), and many more household products. Unfortunately, they are a risk to our health and don’t actually provide a fire safety benefit. Fortunately, there are ways to make furniture more fire safe and less toxic, and many companies are already doing so. These bills will phase out the use of certain harmful flame retardant chemicals in children's products and residential furniture. PDF iconFact sheet - Children and Firefighters Protection Act.pdf


An Act Relating to Disclosure of Toxic Chemicals in Consumer Products 

S.1191 (Sen. Ken Donnelly; Joint Committee on Public Health)

H.439 (Rep. Jay Kaufman; Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture)

A first step towards making the transition to safer alternatives is to find out what is being used in the products that we come into contact with every day. This bill will create a list of "toxic chemicals in consumer products." Manufacturers of children’s products, personal care products, cleaning products and certain other "formulated" products sold in Massachusetts that contain those chemicals will be required to report that information to the state. The disclosed information will be made publicly available in a bi-annual report and on the state’s website. PDF iconDisclosure Bill Factsheet.pdf


An Act to Require Environmentally Safe Alternatives to Harmful Cleaning Products

H.2479 (Rep. Frank Smizik; Joint Committee on Public Health)

Toxic cleaning chemicals threaten the health of the workers who use them and the children and adults who live, work or study in the buildings where they are used. Scientific studies have found that cleaning chemicals have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive problems, stillbirths, and birth defects. Safer cleaning products are already in use in many public buildings and schools, demonstrating that they are effective, available, and feasible. This bill will require the use of safer cleaning products in schools, day care centers, and public buildings or common areas of public housing in Massachusetts. Read more here: PDF iconFactsheet-Safe Cleaning Products.pdf


An Act requiring disclosure of solvents used in dry cleaning

H.2478 (Rep. Frank Smizik; Joint Committee on Public Health)

Perchloroethylene, or perc, is the cleaning agent used by over 80% of U.S. dry cleaners. Perc has been linked to cancer, nervous system problems, liver and kidney damage, immune system problems, and other negative health impacts. Unfortunately, many of the alternatives to perc that are currently in use, including some that are marketed as “green” or “eco-friendly”,  have also been linked to health and environmental damage. This bill will require dry cleaners to post in their stores what chemical(s) they are using in their processes, and a color coded indicator of the hazard level of each chemical. Read more here: PDF iconFactsheet-Dry Cleaning.pdf