CPSC Developing Practical Guidance For Meeting Phthalates Requirements In New Child Safety Law; Public Input Sought

February 12, 2009
Release Number: 09-130

Starting on February 10, 2009, certain children's toys and child care articles can no longer be sold, offered for sale, manufactured or imported for sale in the United States if they contain more than 0.1% of specified phthalates. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled last week that this prohibition applies regardless of when the covered products were made.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff has previously addressed a number of questions concerning applicability of phthalate limits. CPSC today is issuing more guidance in draft form (pdf) for public comment. The guidance is intended to help manufacturers, importers, retailers and consumers determine what products are covered by the phthalate limits.

Until the draft guidance is finalized, CPSC intends, given its limited resources, to focus its enforcement efforts on the products most likely to pose a risk of phthalate exposure to children. Specifically, CPSC will focus its enforcement efforts on bath toys and other small, plastic toys (especially those made of polyvinyl chloride) that are intended for young children and can be put in the mouth.

In addition, CPSC staff will sample teethers, rattles and pacifiers to confirm that manufacturers continue their practice of not using prohibited phthalates.