This Act, which originated as a private member's bill, requires that within 12 months after it comes into force:

regulations respecting cosmetics that contain bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate be made under subsection 30(1) of the Food and Drugs Act an order be made under section 6 of the Hazardous Products Act to add certain products to Part I of Schedule I to that Act It also requires the Minister of Health to take steps to regulate the use and labelling of medical devices that contain bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate and the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health to complete a CEPA, 1999 reassessment of benzyl butyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate including consideration of their exposure through use of consumer products and cumulative effects on humans.

Bill C-307 deals with three types of phthalates, commonly referred to as plasticizers, which enhance flexibility of plastic compounds. They are in thousands of products, ranging from children's toys to medical devices to cosmetics.

As stated by one member of Parliament: "We are concerned by the multiple exposure to phthalates, which perhaps in isolation may not have the impact which is feared on human health, but in combination can be particularly toxic. These repeated exposures can be enough to cause harm to human health."

The Act specifically incorporates the "precautionary principle" stating that:

"In the administration of this Act, the Government of Canada shall apply the precautionary principle that, where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as the reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent adverse health impacts or environmental degradation."

and requires the precautionary principle to be used in considering the timetable and specific recommendations for action under the Act.