SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 182/16

Safeguards toys in basket

The US state of Maine has proposed to designate 2 flame retardants as Priority Chemicals for reporting requirements in certain children’s products. If approved, the intentionally added flame retardants are required to be reported within 180 days after the effective date of the final rule.

In 2008, Maine enacted the ‘Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products’ Law. [1] The law requires manufacturers, importers or distributors of certain products for children under the age of 12 to disclose specific information if a priority chemical (PC) is added to the products and exceeds the de minimis level. The law defines a children’s product as a consumer product intended for, made for or marketed for use by children under 12 years of age, such as baby products, toys, car seats, personal care products and clothing, and any consumer product containing a chemical of high concern 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.

Since enactment, bisphenol A (BPA), nonylphenol, nonylphenol ethoxylates, [2] formaldehyde, [3] 3 metals (arsenic, cadmium and mercury), [4] and 4 phthalates [benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethyl phthalate (DEP) and di-(2-ethylhexy) phthalate (DEHP)] [5] have been designated as priority chemicals.

In October 2016, Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a public notice to propose the designation of decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca-BDE) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) as PCs that require reporting in certain children’s products. This proposal creates a completely new Chapter 889. [6] Reporting of these chemicals would be required if they are intentionally added to certain categories of product and exceed the practical quantification limit (PQL). The effective date for reporting would be within 180 days of the effective date of this the new law.

Highlights of the proposal are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1Maine’s Dept. of Environmental Protection; Proposal for Chapter 889, Designation of 2 flame retardants as priority chemicals

Flame retardant Scope Requirement Reporting Date
  • Deca-BDE
  • HBCD
  • Childcare articles
  • Children’s clothing, footwear, sleepwear and toys
  • Electronic devices
  • Household furniture and furnishings
  • Mattresses and mattress pads
Reporting to DEP if PC is intentionally added and exceeds the PQL Within 180 days of effective date of new law

Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy for priority chemicals (PCs) or chemicals of high concern to children (CHCCs) for the US. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hing Wo Tsang
t: +852 2774 7420

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