US CPSIA – FAQ of Phthalates (II)
No. 03/2009 Does the packaging of a product have to comply with the phthalates ban? Does it matter if the packaging is normally discarded or intended to be reused?
Packaging is generally not intended for use by children when they play, given that most packaging is discarded and is not used or played with as a children toy or child care article. However, if the packaging is intended to be reused, or used in conjunction with a child care article or with a children toy while playing, such as a heavy gauge reusable bag used to hold blocks, it would be subject to the phthalates ban.
If a cosmetic material is used in a toy set which has play value would it be classified as a part of the toy and therefore subject to the ban on phthalates?
Yes. If a cosmetic material is included in a toy set it is required to meet the requirements of the phthalates ban. However, cosmetics in general when not packaged with a toy are not covered by the section 108 prohibitions.
May a manufacturer use a phthalate that is not banned or an alternative plasticizer in a children toy or child care article?
An unbanned phthalate or an alternative plasticizer that is not one of the banned phthalates may be used in a children toy or child care article. During the upcoming study of phthalates required by the legislation, an assessment of the interim banned phthalates DINP, DIDP and DnOP will be conducted, to include an assessment of the full range of other phthalates and phthalate alternatives, for potential health effects.
How do you determine whether a product is a children toy for purposes of compliance with the phthalate limits?
Section 108 limits the amount of phthalates in children toys and certain other child care articles. A children toy is a consumer product designed or intended by the manufacturer for a child 12 years of age or younger for use by the child when the child plays. Any determination as to whether a particular product is designed and intended for use by a child 12 years of age or younger, would be made on a case by case basis after consideration of the following factors:
A statement by the manufacturer about the intended use of the product, including a label on the product if such statement is reasonable
Whether the product is represented in its packaging, display, promotion or advertising as appropriate for use by the ages specified
Whether the product is commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child of the ages specified
The Age Determination Guidelines issued by the Commission staff in September 2002, and any successor to such guidelines A manufacturer must apply these factors their products and then consider whether it is or use by the child when the child plays to determine whether a product meets the definition of a children toy. The use of the product by the child for play is a fundamental aspect of such a determination. The Commission will be evaluating this using staff from Health Sciences, Human Factors, and Compliance, and hopes to provide additional guidance on this issue. In the interim, the Commission staff plans to use the definition of toy in the ASTM F963-07 toy standard for guidance.
How do you determine whether a product is a child care article for purposes of compliance with the phthalates limits?
A child care article is a consumer product designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep or the feeding of children age 3 and younger, or to help such children with sucking or teething. By way of example, a pacifier/teether would be an item that would help a child with sucking or teething; a bib would facilitate feeding; a crib mattress would facilitate sleeping as would pajamas and crib sheets.
How do I know whether a toy may be placed in a child mouth?
Congress stated that the interim ban on DINP, DIDP, and DnOP applies only to children toys that can be placed in a child mouth. It provided the following definition of when a toy can be placed in a child mouth. A toy can be placed in a child mouth if any part of the toy can actually be brought to the mouth and kept in the mouth by a child so that it can be sucked and chewed. If the toy can only be licked, it is not able to be placed in the mouth. By definition, if a toy or part of a toy in one dimension is smaller than 5 centimeters, it can be placed in the mouth. Thus, any toy in a baby hand that can make it into the baby mouth to be sucked on, or chewed, is subject to the interim ban.
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