Department of Ecology News Release - September 4, 2014

Find info online about toxics in products
Ecology shares lab results via searchable database

OLYMPIA – Lab results revealing levels of toxic chemicals in consumer products sold in Washington are now available through an online database.

Products in the database so far include children’s and baby’s items, clothing, personal care items, and toys. Information on more product types, such as children’s upholstered furniture, electrical and electronic items, and office and art supplies, will be added in the future.

Tests show most manufacturers are following laws regulating the use of toxic chemicals.

The Department of Ecology tests products to understand where and why toxic chemicals are used, with the goal of working with businesses and green chemists to find safer alternatives. Ecology also tests products to verify manufacturers are following state laws:

The presence of a chemical in a product does not necessarily mean it’s unsafe. However, when the widespread use of chemicals in everyday products combines with other sources, it all adds up to a significant problem. Toxic chemicals, especially long-lasting ones that build up over time, are found everywhere – in our air, land, water and bodies.

Testing products is just one piece of a much larger toxics puzzle. This work will help achieve Gov. Inslee’s Clean Water Initiative to update water quality standards and reduce the use of toxic chemicals.

Ecology published Focus on Chemicals in Consumer Products to help database users understand the information available. Josh Grice, research analyst on the project, can also be contacted at 360-407-6786 to answer questions.

People interested in Ecology’s work on toxics are encouraged to follow the ECOconnect blog series Tackling Toxics. The series provides in-depth coverage of product testing and other actions the agency is taking to reduce toxic threats in Washington.

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Contact:

Erika Holmes, communications, 360-515-8793, @ecologyWA