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Third-Party Testing Exemption for Toys and Child Care Items Amended

Friday, January 26, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a direct final rule expanding the number of phthalates that seven plastics with specified additives have been determined to not contain. As a result, children’s toys and child care articles made with such plastics that contain these additional phthalates will not require third-party testing for compliance with the statutory prohibition on phthalates in such goods. This rule will be effective as of April 25 unless significant adverse comment is received by Feb. 26.

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 permanently prohibits children’s toys and child care articles that contain three specified phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and BBP) in concentrations above 0.1 percent in accessible plasticized component parts and other component parts made of materials that may contain phthalates. 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 lifted this testing requirement for such goods containing specific plastics and accompanying additives after finding little evidence that they use any of the prohibited phthalates.

The CPSC later added the phthalates DIBP, DPENP, DHEXP, DCHP, and DINP to the list of those prohibited in children’s toys and child care articles above the specified limit. The CPSC is therefore now adding these phthalates to the list of those that the specified plastics and accompanying additives are not considered to use. As a result, when plastics and additives containing these phthalates are used in such goods, importers and manufacturers will not be required to conduct third-party testing to assure compliance.

However, children’s toys and child care articles will still have to comply with the substantive phthalates content limits and manufacturers will still have to issue certificates stating that their products comply with CPSC requirements.

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