CPSC Seeks Public Comments on Latest Child Toy Safety Guidance

On Feb. 10, 2009, certain children's toys and child care articles could no longer be sold, offered for sale, manufactured, or imported for sale in the United States if they contain more than 0.1 percent of specified phthalates. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled recently that this prohibition applies regardless of when the covered products were made.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff has previously addressed a number of questions concerning applicability of phthalate limits. It has now issued 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Until the draft guidance is finalized, CPSC said it intends, given its limited resources, to focus its enforcement efforts on the products most likely to pose a risk of phthalate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.

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