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As previously reported, a CPSC-appointed Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) released their Final Report in July 2014 detailing the potential health effects of phthalates and phthalate alternatives in toys and child care articles. CPSC has by statute 180 days from the report date to propose a regulation.

The CPSC staff proposal for the rule follows exactly the CHAP recommendations: continue the current permanent ban above 0.1% in all accessible toy and child care article components for DEHP, DBP, and BBP, and implement a permanent ban of DINP in quantities greater than 0.1% in all children’s toys and childcare articles (DINP is currently subject to an interim ban in children’s toys/articles “that can be placed into a child’s mouth” only).

The proposed rule also bans children’s products containing more than 0.1% of DIBP, DPENP, DHEXP and DCHP (which are not currently subject to restrictions under the CPSIA and, except for limited uses of DIBP, are unsuitable for most toy applications). It also lifts the existing interim prohibitions on DIDP and DnOP (which are not typically used in toys and children’s products).

If adopted, the rule will likely have limited practical effects on Toy Industry Association (TIA) members, as many of the banned phthalates are not widely used in toys and/or remain restricted in other jurisdictions, such as the EU, “although the proposal does take the U.S. out of alignment with all other jurisdictions,” says Alan Kaufman, TIA senior vice president of technical affairs.

According to the CPSC, a relatively small percentage of non-mouthable toys would need to be reformulated to remove DINP to meet the proposed rule, and testing laboratories would need to expand their procedures to include the four additional prohibited phthalates, which CPSC staff believes would require “minimum effort” on the part of the labs.

As previously reported, California’s Proposition 65 labeling requirement for DINP goes into effect later this month. TIA’s Kaufman noted that if the CPSC’s proposed DINP restriction is made permanent and expanded to all accessible toy components, it is likely that the federal limit of 0.1% will be recognized as a de minimis amount of DINP, below which labeling will not be required under Proposition 65.

The effective date of the rule will be 180 days after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Members will be kept apprised of developments on this matter; questions may be directed to Alan Kaufman, TIA senior vice president of technical affairs (646.520.4868). 

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