This has been in the works for some time but the CPSC issued a formal press release yesterday stating that starting on February 10, 2009 children’s toys and child care items cannot contain more that 0.1% of any of the six phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, and DnOPA) regardless of when they were manufactured. (Why not Zero??) A court ruling on the 5th stated that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (ban on phthalates in children’s products) should apply to current inventory and not just new products manufactured.
The statute also prohibits phthalates over the limit in child care articles, which include products that a child 3 and younger would use for sleeping, feeding, sucking or teething. By way of example, a pacifier/teether would be an item that would help a child with sucking or teething; a sippy cup would facilitate feeding; and a crib mattress would facilitate sleeping.
Companies must meet their reporting obligation under federal law and immediately tell the Commission if they learn of a children’s toy or child care article that exceeds the new phthalates limits starting on February 10, 2009. Companies also should know that the CPSIA generally prohibits the export for sale of children’s products that exceed the new phthalates limits.
Definitely good news and a step forward, but I fear there will always be a struggle for parents to eliminate it from every scenario. Personally I have already had to contact my child’s school regarding the vinyl mats they insist they nap on… here’s hoping that a stricter rule about phthalates in children’s products is the thing we needed to move that ban forward everywhere.