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SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 138/15

2 girls wearing jewelry

The US State of Maine has expanded the list of priority chemicals to include 4 phthalates for reporting in children’s products. Manufacturers and distributors of certain children’s products containing these phthalates are required to report to Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) no later than 19 December 2015.

In 2008, Maine enacted the ‘Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products’ [1] law.  Under the law, a manufacturer or distributor of certain children’s products is required to disclose specific information if a priority chemical (PC) is added to the product and exceeds the de minimis level.

Since its enactment, arsenic (As), bisphenol A (BPA), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEOs) have been designated as priority chemicals (PCs).

Under Maine’s reporting law, a ‘children’s product’ is:

  • A consumer product intended for children under the age of 12 and
  • ŸAny consumer product containing a chemical of high concern (CHC) that when used or disposed of will likely result in a child under 12 years of age or a fetus's being exposed to that chemical

Maine’s definition differs from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) [2] definition which states, a children’s product is a consumer product designed and intended primarily for children up to the age of 12.

In January 2015, the Maine DEP announced a public notice [3] to propose the designation of 4 phthalates as PCs for reporting in certain children’s products. These 4 phthalates are:

  • Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (1, DEHP)
  • ŸDibutyl phthalate (2, DBP)
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (3, BBP) and
  • Diethyl phthalate (4, DEP)

Manufacturers and distributors are required to disclose specific information to the Maine DEP if any of the phthalates (1 to 4) is intentionally added to certain children’s products, and its concentration exceeds the practical quantitation limit (PQL). 

This proposal was approved in the second quarter of 2015 and has been effective since 22 June, 2015.  Reporting is required by no later than 180 days after the effective date; i.e. by 18 December 2015 or within 30 days of the retail sale of the children’s product.

According to the definitions in the new rule, the scope of children’s products is:

  • Building and home maintenance products
  • ŸClothing and footwear, cosmetics and personal care products, craft supplies
  • Household and commercial cleaning products, household furniture and furnishings
  • ŸPersonal accessories and jewelry

Highlights of new Chapter 888 [4] for the 4 phthalates are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1

State of Maine

Chapter 888 ‘Designation of Four Members of the Chemical Class Phthalates as Priority Chemicals’

Phthalate

Scope

Requirement

Effective Date

Reporting Date

  • Ÿ- BBP
  • - DBP
  • - DEHP
  • - DEP

Children’s products:

  • - Building and home maintenance products
  • Ÿ- Clothing and footwear
  • Ÿ- Cosmetics and personal care products
  • Ÿ- Craft supplies
  • Ÿ- Household and commercial cleaning products
  • Ÿ- Household furniture and furnishings
  • Ÿ- Personal accessories and jewelry

Reporting to Maine DEP is required if PC is intentionally added and exceeds PQL

>

22 June 2015

By 18 December 2015

(or within 30 days of the sale of the children’s product)



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For enquiries, please contact:

Hing Wo Tsang
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