The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to require manufacturers to perform third-party testing for phthalates in children’s toys and care articles, to make sure they meet phthalate limits set by the federal government.
Used as plastic softeners, phthalates might pose long-term risks to the development of the reproductive system and endocrine functions that regulate metabolism and hormone activity. Phthalates have been found in household and children's items such as soft-plastic toys and baby lotions.
Manufacturers now have until December 31, 2011 to comply with the third-party testing rule. In 2008, the CPSC banned three types of phthalates in children’s toys and care articles, and temporarily banned (pending assessment) three other types of phthalates. The latter was for items that could be mouthed, sucked or chewed. Since February 2009, it has been illegal to manufacture or import children’s toys and child care articles violating these standards.
For more on phthalates you can read our coverage of when the ban became law in 2009: New ban on plastic chemical.
Other recent news concerning phthalate regulation:
As House Committee Takes Up Bill to Weaken Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Consumer, Health, and Safety Groups Press Members to Put Kids First