Starting on February 10, 2009, certain children's toys and child care articles can no longer be sold, offered for sale, manufactured or imported for sale in the United States if they contain more than 0.1% of specified phthalates. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled last week that this prohibition applies regardless of when the covered products were made.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff has previously addressed a number of questions concerning applicability of phthalate limits. CPSC today is issuing more guidance in draft form (pdf) for public comment. The guidance is intended to help manufacturers, importers, retailers and consumers determine what products are covered by the phthalate limits.
Until the draft guidance is finalized, CPSC intends, given its limited resources, to focus its enforcement efforts on the products most likely to pose a risk of phthalate exposure to children. Specifically, CPSC will focus its enforcement efforts on bath toys and other small, plastic toys (especially those made of polyvinyl chloride) that are intended for young children and can be put in the mouth.
In addition, CPSC staff will sample teethers, rattles and pacifiers to confirm that manufacturers continue their practice of not using prohibited phthalates.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 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.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.