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Input on Proposal to Toughen Ban on Phthalates in Children’s Products due by March 16

Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is seeking comments by March 16 on a proposed rule that would strengthen restrictions on phthalates in children’s toys and child care articles. The CPSC is proposing to adopt nearly all of the recommendations in a July 2014 report by the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel and a final rule would enter into force 180 days from its date of publication in the Federal Register.

Section 108 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act permanently prohibits the sale of any children’s toy or child care article containing more than 0.1% of three specified phthalates (di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)) and imposes an interim prohibition on the sale of toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth or child care articles containing more than 0.1% of three additional phthalates (diisononyl phthalate (DINP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) and di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP)).

A CHAP was convened to study the effect on children’s health of all phthalates and phthalate alternatives as used in children’s toys and child care articles and to provide recommendations regarding whether any such substances other than those already permanently prohibited should be banned. After carefully considering the recommendations of the CHAP, the CPSC is now proposing to take the following actions.

- The interim ban on the use of DNOP and DIDP in toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth or child care articles would be lifted because these substances do not appear to possess antiandrogenic potential.

- The interim ban on the use of DINP in toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth or child care articles would be made permanent and extended to all children’s toys.

- No further action on DBP, BBP or DEHP would be taken at this time, which means that the permanent bans on these three phthalates would remain in place.

- Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), di-n-pentyl phthalate (DPENP), di-n-hexyl phthalate (DHEXP) and dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP) would be permanently banned from use in children’s toys and child care articles at levels greater than 0.1% because their toxicological profiles are very similar to those of DBP and DEHP.

- Diisooctyl phthalate (DIOP) would not be subject to an interim ban because the CPSIA did not provide for an interim prohibition as an option under section 108. The CHAP was unable to recommend a permanent ban because it concluded that existing data are insufficient to support such an action.

The CPSC also indicates that it is not proposing to expand the phthalate prohibition beyond children’s toys and child care articles or lower the current 0.1% concentration limits specified in the CPSIA.

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