Toxic Free Kids Act
In 2009, Minnesota enacted the Toxic Free Kids Act. The Act requires the Minnesota Department of Health to generate a list of chemicals of high concern by July 1, 2010. A chemical may be considered for listing if it is identified by a state, federal, or international agency as a suspected carcinogen, reproductive or developmental toxicant, or as being persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic, or very persistent and very bioaccumulative. DEH must review and revise the list at least every three years. DEH may designate a chemical of high concern as a priority chemical if it finds that the substance has been identified as a high-production volume chemical by EPA, or if the chemical is (1) found through biomonitoring to be present in human tissues or fluids, (2) found to be present in the home environment, or (3) found to be present in fish, wildlife, or the natural environment. DEH must publish an initial list of priority chemicals by February 1, 2011. DEP has identified the following priority chemicals:
Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
Di (2-ethyhexyl) phthalate (DEHP).
The Act also requires the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to make recommendations on mechanisms to reduce and phase out the use of priority chemicals in children’s products and to promote the use of safer alternatives. Finally, the Act authorizes the state to participate in an interstate chemical clearinghouse.
MINN. STAT. §§ 116.9401-116.9407
Chemicals of High Concern
Ban on BPA-Containing Children’s Food and Beverage Containers
In 2009, Minnesota enacted legislation banning BPA-containing food and beverage bottles and cups intended for use by children under three years of age. Effective January 1, 2010, manufacturers and wholesalers are prohibited from selling or offering to sell such products. Effective January 1, 2011, the same restriction applies to retailers.
MINN. STAT. §§ 325F.172-325F.173
Ban on Cadmium in Jewelry
In 2010, Minnesota enacted restrictions on cadmium in children’s jewelry. Effective January 1, 2011, manufacturers and wholesalers are prohibited from selling or offering to sell children’s jewelry with surface coating or accessible substrate materials containing more than 75 ppm cadmium. This restriction applies to retailers starting March 1, 2011.
MINN. STAT. §§ 325E.3891
Endocrine Disruptor Monitoring
In 2009, Minnesota enacted a session law requiring monitoring for various types of chemicals. The Commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency must establish a network of water monitoring sites near wastewater treatment facilities to assess levels of endocrine disrupting compounds, antibiotic compounds, and pharmaceuticals. The Agency must prepare and submit to the legislature a report on its monitoring activities.
Laws of Minnesota 2009, chapter 172, article 2, section 4
Environmental Health Tracking and Biomonitoring
In 2007, Minnesota adopted legislation establishing a biomonitoring program. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed two biomonitoring pilot projects (South Minneapolis Children's Arsenic Study, and East Metro PFC Biomonitoring Pilot Project), while two projects are still ongoing (Riverside Prenatal Biomonitoring Pilot Project, and Lake Superior Mercury Project). The Department is evaluating these projects in preparation for the Minnesota Biomonitoring Pilot Program.
MINN. STAT. §§ 144.995-144.998
Restrictions on Lead in Jewelry
In 2007, Minnesota enacted restrictions on the use of lead in jewelry, including children’s jewelry.
MINN. STAT. § 325E.389
Products Containing Polybrominated Diphenyl
Ether In 2007, Minnesota adopted restrictions on the use of flame retardants in certain products. Effective January 1, 2008, the law prohibits manufacture, processing, or distribution of products or product parts containing more than one-tenth of one percent by mass of either penta-BDE or octa-BDE, with exceptions.
MINN. STAT. §§ 325E.385-325E.388
Minnesota Environmental Initiative Works on Minnesota Chemical Regulation and Policy Project
In 1992, leading Minnesota businesses, environmental advocacy nonprofits, and state agencies formed the Minnesota Environmental Initiative to begin collaborating on various environmental issues affecting the state. The Initiative initiated the Minnesota Chemical Regulation and Policy Project, a stakeholder process to identify potential improvement to the state’s chemical management program. The Project is entering its second phase, during which the Initiative plans to develop substantive recommendations to improve the state’s approach to regulation of chemicals.