Tuesday, February 10, 2009
A federal ban on a chemical added to plastic products is now in effect. The chemical is used to soften toys and other products, but can also cause long-term health problems. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce has more.
California Senator Dianne Feinstein says the ban on certain types of phthalates will protect children from exposure to the chemical.
The ban was sponsored by Senator Feinstein and signed into law last summer.
It imposes a permanent ban on three dangerous phthalates found in toys for children 12 years and younger.
The chemicals are found in a variety of children's toys and childcare products such as teethers, rubber ducks and soft books.
They're also added to vinyl shower curtains, nail polish and other items.
Phthalates interfere with the hormone system and can cause reproductive problems.
In 2007, California became the first state in the nation to pass a law banning the chemicals from many toys and childcare products.
Ed Joyce, KPBS News.