Wednesday, January 7, 2015

County Executive Signs Historic Law to Protect Children, First in New York State

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy signed Local Law J this afternoon which will prohibit the sale of children’s products or children’s apparel containing benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cadmium and cobalt within the County of Albany.

“There are many toys and products that our children play with and are exposed to that contain dangerous toxins known to have harmful effects, including damaging blood and organs, causing cancer and impeding both their cognitive and physical development,” said McCoy.  “No one wants to expose our children to toxic chemicals and we can’t take baby steps in addressing the problem.  This law isn’t perfect but it’s a giant step toward making sure that we are doing everything we can to protect our children and should serve as a call to other communities across the country to do the same thing.”  

Local Law J would be enforced by the Albany County Department of Health which will work with the Albany County Department of Law to create rules and regulations which will go into effect one year from the law’s filing with the Office of the New York State Secretary of State.

“I do this knowing that enforcing this law presents certain challenges,” continued McCoy.  “This law gives the Health Department Commissioner broad authority regarding its enforcement including how it should be enforced.  As the rules and regulations are developed, additional personnel, equipment and funding will be required to enforce Local Law J when it takes effect next year but that anticipated expense should not be an impediment to enforcement when balanced against the protection this law will provide for our children.”

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