In a unanimous vote, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) eliminated third-party testing for compliance with CPSC’s phthalates prohibitions for seven plastics. The Commission decided that these plastics with specified additives do not contain concentrations above 0.1% of the phthalates prohibited in children’s toys and child care articles.

Phthalates are sometimes used in children’s products as plasticizers, which work to soften plastic components. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) prohibits the manufacture for sale, offer for sale, distribution in commerce, or importation into the United States of any children’s toy or child care article that contains concentrations above 0.1% of specified phthalates. Children’s toys and child care articles subject to these restrictions are required to satisfy third-party compliance testing before the items can enter the stream of commerce.

The rule approved by CPSC, which will go into effect on September 29, 2017, establishes that the following plastics with specified additives do not contain statutorily prohibited phthalates in concentrations above 0.1%, and third-party testing is therefore not necessary to ensure compliance with the CPSIA:

  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • General Purpose Polystyrene (GPPS)
  • Medium-Impact Polystyrene (MIPS)
  • High-Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)
  • Super High-Impact Polystyrene (SHIPS)
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

Children’s toys and child care articles containing concentrations of more than 0.1% of six prohibited phthalates will continue to be regulated under the CPSIA; however, this decision will significantly reduce the burden of third-party testing and certification for companies that manufacture, sell, or distribute children’s products. Click here for more information regarding CPSC’s phthalate requirements.