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Policy

U.S. to restrict 5 phthalates in children’s products

Chemical industry criticizes agency for limiting DINP

by Cheryl Hogue
October 26, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 43

Five phthalates will be banned from toys and items such as teething rings and pacifiers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) decided earlier this month.

In a 3-2 vote, CPSC determined that the chemicals are harmful for male reproductive development and agreed to restrict the five plasticizers in toys and some child care products to no more than 0.1%. The substances are di-n-hexyl phthalate, di-n-pentyl phthalate, dicyclohexyl phthalate, diisobutyl phthalate, and diisononyl phthalate (DINP).

Consumer groups applauded the restriction, which is expected to take effect in about six months.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), an association of chemical manufacturers, lashed out at CPSC’s action on one of the substances. “This vote to ban DINP is arbitrary and capricious and proves CPSC isn’t interested in acting based on valid scientific standards,” the group said.

Calling DINP one of the most thoroughly studied compounds in the world, ACC said reviews by international scientific panels have repeatedly concluded that “DINP, as currently used in commercial and consumer products, does not pose a risk to human health at typical exposure levels.”

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