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CPSC Prohibits Certain Phthalates in Children’s Toys and Child Care Products

Release Date: October 20, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted 3 to 2 on October 18, 2017 to issue a final rule prohibiting children’s toys and child care articles containing more than 0.1 percent of certain phthalate chemicals. The rule will take effect 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Phthalates are used to make vinyl and other plastics soft and pliable. Ingestion of certain phthalates can have harmful health effects on children.

The Commission’s final rule bans children’s toys and child care articles containing more than 0.1 percent of five specific phthalate chemicals.  The rule is based on recommendations from a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP), which examined the health effects of phthalates in children’s toys and child care articles.  Based on the CHAP’s report, CPSC majority determined that these five phthalate chemicals cause harmful effects on male reproductive development:

  1. diisononyl phthalate (DINP);
  2. di-n-pentyl phthalate (DPENP);
  3. di-n-hexyl phthalate (DHEXP);
  4. dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP); or,
  5. diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP).

Congress permanently prohibited children’s toys and child care articles containing concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of three additional phthalates in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA):

  1. di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP);
  2. dibutyl phthalate (DBP); or,
  3. benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)

The final rule brings to eight the total number of phthalates that are restricted from use in children’s toys and child care articles at concentrations of more than 0.1 percent. 

The CPSIA also established an interim prohibition on “children’s toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth and child care articles” containing concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of diisononyl phthalate (DINP), di-n-octyl (DNOP) or diisodecyl (DIDP).  The Commission’s rule makes the interim prohibition regarding DINP permanent and expands it to cover “all children’s toys and child care articles” containing concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of DINP.

The final rule removes the interim prohibition regarding DNOP and DIDP. CPSC has determined that these phthalates do not cause adverse effects on male reproductive development, and other risks attendant to their use are low.

The Commission also issued a notice of requirements (NOR) for accreditation of laboratories to test for the newly prohibited phthalates in children’s toys and child care articles.

Children’s toys are defined by the CPSIA as products designed or intended by the manufacturer for play by a child 12 years of age or younger. Child care articles are consumer products designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep or the feeding of children age three and younger, or to help children with sucking or teething.

Commissioner Statements

Statement of Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle 

Statement of Commissioner Elliot Kaye

Statement of Commissioner Joseph P. Mohorovic

Release Number
18-014

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

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