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No Third-Party Testing for Phthalates in Toys, Child Care Items with Four Plastics Under CPSC Proposal

Thursday, August 18, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is proposing a rule to determine that certain plastics with specified additives would not contain the phthalates prohibited in children’s toys and child care articles and would therefore not require third-party testing for compliance with that prohibition. The plastics covered by this proposal are polypropylene, polyethylene, high-impact polystyrene, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Comments on this proposal are due no later than Nov. 1.

Phthalates are not naturally occurring materials but are intentionally created and used in specific applications; e.g., plastics, surface coatings, solvents, inks, adhesives and some rubberized materials. One application of phthalates in children’s toys and child care articles is as a plasticizer or softener for plastic component parts.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 prohibits children’s toys and child care articles that contain six specified phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP and DnOP) in concentrations above 0.1 percent in accessible plasticized component parts and other component parts made of materials that may contain phthalates. (The CPSC has since proposed to make the interim prohibition on DINP permanent, lift the interim prohibitions on DIDP and DnOP, and add four other phthalates to the prohibited list (DIBP, DPENP, DHEXP and DCHP) but those actions have not yet been finalized.) Because plastics can contain these prohibited phthalates, children’s toys and child care articles require third-party testing for compliance before the manufacturer can issue a children’s product certificate and enter the items into commerce.

However, the CPSC has found little evidence that the four plastics at issue and specific accompanying additives use any of the prohibited phthalates as a plasticizer or for any other purpose. As a result, the CPSC is proposing to determine that these four plastics, with any of the additives set forth below, comply with the phthalate prohibition and thus are not required to be third-party tested to assure compliance.

- polypropylene with plasticizers polybutenes, dioctyl sebacate, paraffinic oil, isooctyl tallate, mineral plasticizing oils and polyol; hydrocarbon solvents; catalysts; fillers; nucleating agents; primary and secondary antioxidants; neutralizing agents; anti-static agents; slip agents; metal deactivators; quenchers; UV stabilizers; flame retardants; blowing or foaming agents; anti-blocking agents; lubricants; or colorants

- polyethylene with plasticizers glyceryl tribenzoate, polyethylene glycol, sunflower oil, paraffin wax, paraffin oil, mineral oil, glycerin, EPDM rubber and EVA polymer; catalysts; initiators; promoters; anti-static agents; fillers; flame retardants; anti-blocking agents; slip agents; blowing agents; cross-linking agents; antioxidants; carbon black; or colorants

- high-impact polystyrene with catalysts; internal lubricants; chain transfer/transition agents; stabilizers; diluents; colorants; aluminum chloride, ethyl chloride, hydrochloric acid; iron oxide, potassium oxide, chromium oxide; or bifunctional peroxides

- acrylonitrile butadiene styrene with the plasticizers phosphate esters, long chain fatty acid esters and aromatic sulfonamide; hydrocarbon solvents; stabilizers; lubricants; antioxidants; molecular weight regulators; initiators/catalysts; activators; emulsifiers; or colorants

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