Issue Date: December 17, 2012
Agents Nab Chinese-Made Plastic Ducks With Phthalate Levels Higher Than Allowed In U.S.
Plastic toy ducks decked out as Santas, reindeer, penguins, gingerbread men, and snowmen were seized by federal officials early this month after arriving in California from China. The toy ducks contain phthalates at levels that may harm children, according to U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP). In the raid at the Los Angeles-Long Beach Seaport, CBP worked with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to enforce a congressionally mandated ban on toys and child care items with more than 0.1% of any of three chemicals used to soften plastics: di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate, and benzyl butyl phthalate. The ducks contain between about 8 and 12% DEHP, depending on their style, a spokeswoman for CPSC tells C&EN. The seizure of the plastic ducks, CBP says, kept unsafe products out of stores and consumers’ homes.
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