The price of healthy children is eternal vigilance, to paraphrase a quote of disputed origin. Protecting kids from harmful chemicals is a seemingly endless task for lawmakers.
The Washington Legislature is considering Substitute House Bill 1294, which prohibits the sale, manufacture or distribution of children’s products or residential furniture containing the chemical flame-retardant Tris in amounts greater than 50 parts per million in any component.
Support for passage of the bill was outlined Monday in a Times editorial. As the editorial noted, state lawmakers have a solid history of working to phase out, remove and ban a variety of toxic chemicals in children’s products. The challenge is mutant versions of the chemicals keep turning up.
The issue can be complicated when the chemical is touted as have a benign or even desirable effect, such as flame retardants. A series of reports by the Chicago Tribune generated their own heat about flame retardants.
Safer alternatives exist. As Washington and other states make their concerns known, the message will get out to use them.