Final Rule Published on Phthalates in Children’s Toys, Child-Care Articles

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on October 27 published its final rule prohibiting certain phthalate chemicals in children’s toys and child-care articles. Phthalates, used commonly as plasticizers in such items as pacifiers and bottles, make products soft and pliable. The rule goes into effect on April 25, 2018, and requires that children's toys and child-care articles contain no more than 0.1 percent of the following phthalates: 

Diisononyl phthalate (DINP)
Di-n-pentyl phthalate (DPENP)
Di-n-hexyl phthalate (DHEXP)
Dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP)
Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)

The rule expands an existing prohibition under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) applicable to three other phthalates in these children’s products - di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DIBP), and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP).  Eight phthalate chemicals will now be subject to restriction in children’s toys and child-care articles. 

The Commission considered a proposed ban on phthalates in 2014, and took decisional action now to settle a 2016 lawsuit filed by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance (EJHC) protesting delays in rulemaking.  
The Commission also ruled, based on a recommendation from its Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP), that an interim CPSIA prohibition on di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) will be discontinued. The CHAP found that DNOP and DIDP did not pose a health risk to children, pregnant women, or other vulnerable populations. 
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