The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has proposed a new rule that would exempt certain plastics in children’s products from mandatory third-party phthalate testing.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) prohibits concentrations above 0.1% of six phthalates in the accessible parts of various children’s products. The substances are:
● DIDP; and
Third-party testing must be conducted demonstrating compliance with the 100 ppm limit before an item can be placed on the market.
However, the proposed rule calls for exempting the following from mandatory tests:
high impact polystyrene; and
acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
The proposal follows a study by a CPSC contractor. It found that the banned phthalates are not used in these plastics, their raw materials, or in the types of additives they might contain above the allowable limit.
The 0.1% limit would not be affected by the proposal.
Congress’s 2011 passage of Public Law 112-28 directed the agency to seek ways to reduce the burdens that mandatory testing brings.
The proposed regulation would create a new sub-chapter 1308 for Prohibition of Children’s Toys and Child Care Articles Containing Specified Phthalates: Determinations Regarding Certain Plastics.” The four types of plastics that the proposed rule exempts from third party testing would still need to meet the current requirement (scope, limit, and phthalates) under section 108 of CPSIA. CPSC is issuing this proposed rule to help reduce the cost of third party testing.
The Toy Industry Association (TIA), which has pushed for the CPSC to reduce the burden of third-party testing, says that the rule “will likely have a positive impact on the toy industry by reducing testing costs.”
The commission has made some progress in reducing burdens elsewhere, in areas such as testing requirements for untreated wood and lead in certain textiles.
But the Toy industry leaders have focused on reductions on phthalate testing as an area that would provide the greatest relief to the industry.
Public Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted by CPSC until October 31.