Panel Recommends New Bans on Certain Phthalates in Children’s Products, Lifting Others
A long-awaited report on the hazards associated with the use of phthalates in children’s toys and child care articles recommends that the Consumer Product Safety Commission ban some of these substances permanently but lift restrictions on others. Among other things, the report finds that children’s highest exposures to phthalates come through food, beverages and drugs via direct ingestion and not via toys and personal care products.
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 percent 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 percent of three additional phthalates (diisononyl phthalate (DINP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) and di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP)).
The CHAP assessed the risks of 14 phthalates and six phthalate alternatives and made the following recommendations.
- The CPSC should take no further action on DBP, BBP or DEHP at this time.
- The interim ban on the use of DINP in children’s toys and child care articles at levels greater than 0.1 percent should be made permanent.
- The interim bans on DNOP and DIDP should be lifted because there is no “compelling data” to justify maintaining them.
- No action should be taken on dimethyl phthalate (DMP) or diethyl phthalate (DEP).
- Although the CPSC has recently detected di(2-propylheptyl) phthalate (DPHP) in some children’s toys, given the general lack of publicly available information on this substance the CHAP is unable to recommend any action regarding its potential use in children’s toys or child care articles at this time.
- Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), di-n-pentyl phthalate (DPENP), di-n-hexyl phthalate (DHEXP) and dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP) should be permanently banned from use in children’s toys and child care articles at levels greater than 0.1 percent because their toxicological profiles are very similar to those of DBP and DEHP.
- Diisooctyl phthalate (DIOP) should be subject to an interim ban on use in children’s toys and child care articles at levels greater than 0.1 percent until sufficient toxicity and exposure data are available to assess the potential risks.
- No action on phthalate alternatives is recommended at this time because there is no evidence that any of the alternatives considered presents a hazard to infants or toddlers from mouthing toys or child care articles.