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Policy

Phthalate Testing Process Set By CPSC

by David J. Hanson
August 15, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 33

Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, several phthalates used as plasticizers were banned from products intended for children 12 years old and younger. Products have to be tested by a third party to ensure compliance with the law. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has just published the process for laboratories to get approved for testing children’s products for phthalates. Basically, testing labs must use test methods approved by CPSC for phthalates and be accredited by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation–Mutual Recognition Arrangement for these tests. Labs must apply for accreditation to CPSC. The 2008 law bans six phthalates from children’s products—di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate, diisononyl phthalate, diisodecyl phthalate, and di-n-octyl phthalate. However, because phthalates are ubiquitous, each of the banned chemicals can be present at concentrations of up to 1,000 ppm.

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