SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 144/16

SafeGuardS kids playing dough

US CPSC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that exempts polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), high impact polystyrene (HIPS), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) from 3rd party testing for regulated phthalates content.

As part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) [1], manufacturers and importers of childcare articles and certain toys are required to have an approved 3rd party laboratory test their products for certain phthalates outlined in Table 1.

On August 17, 2016, the CPSC published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) [2] to create a new section in the US Code of Federal Regulations, 16 CFR 1308. This new section will list CPSC determinations that certain types of plastic containing certain additives do not contain regulated phthalates above the threshold limits and are exempt from mandatory 3rd party testing. The plastics covered in this proposed rule are:

  • Polypropylene (PP)

  • Polyethylene (PE)

  • High impact polystyrene (HIPS)

  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

The proposed rule exempts the 4 specified plastics from 3rd party testing for regulated phthalates because the plastics are not expected to contain phthalates at levels above the threshold limits. The determination does not exempt the plastics from meeting the phthalates content requirements.

In July of 2014 the CPSC published a Chronic Health Advisory Panel (CHAP) report. Based on the CHAP report, [3] the CPSC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [4] that would significantly change the phthalates that require testing under CPSIA if it is finalized. The research used to make this new determination to exempt these 4 plastics from 3rd party testing included all of the phthalates listed in the CHAP report. If the CHAP report revisions to the requirements are finalized, these proposed exceptions from 3rd party testing will be updated to apply to the new list of phthalates.

This proposal starts a 75-day comment period. The CPSC is accepting comments about the proposed rule, and must respond to comments before a final rule is made.

Table 1

Acronym Phthalate Name CAS number
DEHP di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate 117-81-7
DBP dibutyl phthalate 84-74-2
BBP benzyl butyl phthalate 85-68-7
DINP diisononyl phthalate 28553-12-0, 68515-48-0
DIDP diisodecyl phthalate 26761-40-0, 68515-49-1
DnOP di-n-octyl phthalate 117-84-0

Throughout our global network, SGS offers consultation and comprehensive testing services (physical/mechanical, chemical, flammability, electrical safety, etc) covering the full spectrum of international product safety and regulatory standards for a wide range of toys. Our laboratories are internationally recognized by major industry associations, accreditation bodies and authorities. With the largest global network of toy experts and testing facilities around the world (including 4 EU Notified Bodies and about 40 CPSC-Accepted Testing Laboratories), SGS is the partner to trust. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or visit our website.

For enquiries, please contact:

William Baxter
Technical Manager, Consumer and Retail

t: +01 862 233 5775


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