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CPSC Requests Comments on Phthalates Ban

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. - Client Alert, November 20, 2008

On November 13, 2008, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) published a request for comments on Section 108 of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Prohibition on Sale of Certain Products Containing Specified Phthalates.  The phthalate ban is one aspect of the CPSIA, a law passed in August 2008 that significantly expands the authority of the CPSC, imposes new consumer product safety requirements for a wide range of consumer products, including limits on lead and lead paint in children’s products, and increases funding for the CPSC.

Beginning February 10, 2009, Section 108 of the CPSIA prohibits persons from manufacturing for sale, offering for sale, distributing in commerce, or importing into the United States "children's toys" and "child care articles" containing more than 0.1% of benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP).  Also beginning February 10, 2009, Section 108 prohibits, on an interim basis, persons from manufacturing for sale, offering for sale, distributing in commerce, or importing into the United States "children’s toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth" and "child care articles" containing more than 0.1% of diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), or di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP).  The CPSC will appoint a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) "not before" February 10, 2009, and it will, after considering the effects of exposure to multiple phthalates, recommend to the CPSC whether to continue the interim ban and whether additional bans on phthalates or phthalate alternatives are needed.

On November 17, the CPSC released a General Counsel memorandum concluding that the phthalate bans adopted under the CPSIA apply only to products manufactured after the effective date of February 10, 2009.   

The CPSC has expressed interest in receiving comments on several specific topics, including:

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) use in children’s products;
  • The use of non-PVC plastics in children's products;
  • The use of phthalates and phthalate alternatives in children's products;
  • Measurement of phthalates in children's products;
  • Toxicity of phthalates and phthalate alternatives (new or unpublished data); and
  • Exposure to phthalates and phthalate alternatives (new or unpublished data).

The CPSC’s request for comments is available at: http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/108rfc.pdf .  Comments are due no later than January 12, 2009. 

For more information about the phthalate ban or these other aspects of the CPSIA, please contact Paul Hagen, phagen@bdlaw.com; Angie Colamaria, acolamaria@bdlaw.com; or Bart Kempf, bkempf@bdlaw.com.  

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