Third-Party Testing Eliminated for Toys, Child Care Items with Seven Plastics
Seven plastics with specified additives have been determined to not contain the phthalates prohibited in children’s toys and child care articles and therefore do not require third-party testing for compliance with that prohibition. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a final rule that, effective Oct. 1, will update its regulations to reflect this determination with respect to polypropylene, polyethylene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, and general purpose, medium-impact, high-impact, and super high-impact polystyrene.
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.) Children’s toys and child care articles subject to these content limits 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 plastics and accompanying additives listed below use any of the prohibited phthalates. As a result, this rule provides that when these plastics and additives are used in children’s toys and child care articles, importers and manufacturers are not required to conduct third-party testing to assure compliance.
- polypropylene with plasticizers polybutenes, dioctyl sebacate, isooctyle tallate, polyol, and napththenic, paraffinic, and mineral plasticizing oils; unrecovered catalysts; fillers; primary and secondary antioxidants; neutralizing agents; anti-static agents; slip agents; metal deactivators; quenchers; UV stabilizers; nucleating agents; 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; unrecovered catalysts; initiators; promoters; anti-static agents; fillers; flame retardants; anti-blocking agents; slip agents; blowing agents; cross-linking agents; antioxidants; carbon black; or colorants
- general purpose, medium-impact, high-impact, and super high-impact polystyrene with unrecovered 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 plasticizers hydrocarbon processing oil, triphenyl phosphate, resorcinol bis(diphenyl phosphate), oligomeric phosphate, long chain fatty acid esters, and aromatic sulfonamide; stabilizers; lubricants; antioxidants; molecular weight regulators; initiators/unrecovered catalysts; activators; emulsifiers; or colorants
The CPSC notes that children’s toys and child care articles must still comply with the substantive phthalates content limits and that manufacturers must issue certificates stating that their products comply with CPSC requirements.