New York City is to consider implementing a bill that would prohibit the sale of children's apparel and footwear containing harmful levels of certain chemicals.

The city council will hold a hearing on an amended version of the proposed Toxic Toy Ban Bill tomorrow (14 January). The legislation would ban the sale and distribution in New York City of children's apparel, footwear, as well as travel goods, and other children's products, containing more than the specified amounts of formaldehyde, benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cadmium and cobalt. 

Violations of the prohibition would be punishable by a civil penalty of US$250 to $500 for the first violation and $750 to $1,000 for subsequent violations. The law would take affect 180 days after its enactment.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) says it will testify against the legislation.

The move is part of a huge update by Congress to the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was passed in July last year, a milestone in the effort to reform the country's chemical control law.

Industry welcomes passage of toxic substance act