Products sold in New York must comply with certain chemical and heavy metals restrictions, labeling, documentation, and lab testing requirements. This guide serves as an introduction to New York compliance requirements for jewelry, children’s products, electronics, packaging materials, and other product categories.
Important: This article only serves as an introduction to safety requirements, substance restrictions, labeling, certification, and other compliance requirements in New York It is not a complete guide and is not kept up to date. Further, keep in mind that national product regulations (e.g. CPSIA) apply in all states.
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Environmental Conservation Law
The Environmental Conservation Law of New York aims to protect the environment, wildlife, and the health of the public from chemical hazards. Article 37 of the Environmental Conservation Law establishes regulations to control the use of hazardous substances in children’s products and packaging, including the following:
- Lead-Containing Jewelry Restriction
- Childcare Products Bisphenol-A Prohibition
- Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products
- PFAS Prohibition on Food Packaging
- Hazardous Packaging Law
The law covers consumer products such as:
- Child care products
- Children’s toys
- Food packaging
- Consumer products packaging
In the sections below, we briefly introduce several articles under the Environmental Conservation Law concerning the safety of consumer products.
Lead-Containing Jewelry Restriction
Section 37-0115 of Article 37 on Lead-containing Jewelry establishes the requirements to sell jewelry that is intended to be used by children under the age of 12 years.
Examples of products that are covered by this article law include:
- Ankle bracelet
- Arm cuff
The main requirements are as follows:
a. If any component of the jewelry contains more than 0.01% of lead by weight, then the product is not allowed to be sold
b. If the jewelry has any components that contain more than 0.004% lead by weight, but all components contain less than 0.01% of lead by weight, it can be sold with a warning label
c. If all components of the jewelry contain less than 0.004% lead by weight, the product can be sold without a warning label
The warning statement for children’s jewelry should either contain the sentence below or other phrases that express a similar meaning:
“WARNING: CONTAINS LEAD. MAY BE HARMFUL IF EATEN OR CHEWED.”
The warning label should be placed on the packaging of the jewelry product.
Childcare Products Bisphenol-A Prohibition
Article 37 Title 5 declares that it is illegal to sell child care products that are intended to be used by children of three or younger to contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), or other types of bisphenol.
Examples of child care products covered by this section include:
- Baby bottles
- Baby bottle liners and cups
- Cup lids
- Sippy cups
As already mentioned, this title of Article 37 bans the use of Bisphenol-Ai in childcare products. The latest amendment also bans substitutes of Bisphenol-A that can pose health risks to humans, such as breast cancer, uterus cancer, and endocrine anomaly. The banned substitutes of Bisphenol-A are:
- Bisphenol-AF (BPAF)
- Bisphenol-Z (BPZ)
- Bisphenol-F (BPF)
- Bisphenol-AP (BPAP)
- Bisphenol-B (BPB)
This bill allows defined products that do not contain bisphenols to be labeled as “Bisphenol-Free” to inform the customers that such products do not contain the chemical bisphenol.
Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products
Article 37 Title 9 on Toxic Chemicals In Children’s Products prohibits the sale of children’s products containing certain chemical substances.
This section of Article 37 covers children’s products such as:
- Children’s apparel
- School supplies
- Children’s bedding, furniture, and furnishings
- Car seats that are intended for children
- Children’s personal care products
- Children’s jewelry
It is illegal to sell children’s products containing the following chemical substances starting from Jan 2023:
In addition, this section requires the New York state department to maintain a list of chemicals of concern and high priority that are used in children’s products. These are chemicals that are deemed carcinogens, reproductive or developmental toxicants, or can cause other health risks to humans.
Currently, the legislative measures on the use of chemicals of concern and high priority are still under the negotiating process and have not yet been specified.
PFAS Prohibition on Food Packaging Act
The PFAS Prohibition on Food Packaging Act prohibits the use of “Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances” (PFAS) in food packaging and similar products.
The list of covered products include:
- Cardboard bakery boxes
- Paper straws
- Wheat straw lunch boxes
- Cornstarch food wrappers
This Act bans the use of PFAS in food contact materials that are made of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers.
Hazardous Packaging Law
The Hazardous Packaging Law sets limits on the heavy metal concentration level of product packaging and its components in New York.
This law covers product packaging that is used for consumer products, such as:
- Carrying cases
- Rigid foil
- Wrapping films
The Hazardous Packaging Law sets the allowable limit for the heavy metal concentration level on consumer product packaging and related inks, dyes, and adhesives.
It requires that the following types of heavy metal on the packaging or its component should not exceed 0.01% by weight:
- Hexavalent chromium
Importers and manufacturers of products covered by the Environmental Conservation Law should contact a reputable lab testing company and conduct lab tests to ensure product compliance with applicable requirements.
For example, importers or manufacturers of food contact materials made of paper or other fiber-based materials should conduct PFAS lab tests on their products to ensure no PFAS are contained in their products.
A01554: Toys and child care products containing phthalates
This bill proposes to prohibit the importing, manufacture, distribution, and sale of certain toys and child care products containing phthalates in New York. Note that this bill has not yet been passed as a law. But the introduction of this bill shows the public’s concern about the use of certain phthalates on toys and child care products.
This bill covers child care products designed to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or the feeding of children and toys intended to be played by children, which include the following examples:
- Plush toys
- Plastic reading books
- Feeding bottles
- Sucking cups
This bill proposes that the following types of phthalates contained by children’s products should not exceed 0.1% by weight:
Once this bill is passed into law, importers and manufacturers selling children’s products in New York should comply with its requirements on phthalates restriction. Lab testing is often necessary to assess the concentration of phthalates.
Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Law
The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Law require importers or manufacturers of covered electronic equipment to disclose whether their products contain excessive amounts of certain heavy metals.
In addition, this law also requires that importers or manufacturers of covered electronic equipment have the responsibility to label, collect and recycle their products according to the rules.
This law covers electronic equipment such as the following:
a. Computers (e.g., laptop computer, desktop computer)
b. Computer peripherals (e.g., monitor, electronic keyboard, small-scale scanner or printer weight less than 100 pounds)
c. Small electronic equipment (e.g., battery-powered portable digital music player, electronic or video game console)
d. Small-scale servers (e.g., desktop computers that are specifically used as storage hosts for other computers)
e. Cathode ray tubes
This law requires that importers or manufacturers who sell more than 1,000 units annually of covered electronic equipment in the State of New York must submit a one-time online registration to the Department of Environmental Conservation via the E-waste Online Registration and Reporting System.
The registration should include a statement explaining whether the products they are selling contain excessive amounts of certain substances. The limit value of each type of substance is as follow:
- Cadmium < 0.01% by weight
- Lead < 0.1% by weight
- Mercury < 0.1% by weight
- Hexavalent chromium < 0.1% by weight
- Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) < 0.1% by weight
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) < 0.1% by weight
The law requires that electronic equipment must bear a visible and permanent label identifying the manufacturer of the equipment, which might include the importer or manufacturer’s name or brand name.
The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Law require importers and manufacturers of covered electronic equipment to disclose if the products contain a concentration of certain heavy metals above a given amount. Lab testing is usually required to assess the concentration of heavy metals in components of electronic products.
Bedding Rules and Regulations
The Bedding Rules and Regulations set labeling requirements for beddings, which are articles used to fulfill sleeping or reclining purposes.
The Bedding Rules and Regulations apply to beddings such as mattresses or box springs.
The Bedding Rules and Regulations of New York require that importers and manufacturers of new bedding sold in this state must submit the following information to the Department of State:
- Company’s name and address
- A statement to confirm that the bedding is made of new materials
In addition, importers or manufacturers of covered bedding should label their products, including the abovementioned information.
The Bedding Rules and Regulations of New York require that the importer or manufacturer’s name should be indicated in the bedding label. The label shall also include a statement confirming that the product is made on new materials.
The label must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least six square inches in area
- Contain the phrase “new material” in prominent print
- Be stitched or attached to the bedding in a secure and conspicuous way
This table aggregates the laws and regulations we introduced in this article. You can click on the link to see the original text or information on the government website.
|Environmental Conservation Law||Link|
|Lead-Containing Jewelry Restriction||Link|
|Childcare Products Bisphenol A Prohibition||Link|
|Toxic Chemicals In Children’s Products||Link|
|The PFAS Prohibition on Food Packaging Act||Link|
|Hazardous Packaging Law||Link|
|A01554: Toys and child care products containing phthalates||Link|
|Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Law||Link|
|Bedding Rules and Regulations||Link|