The US state of Maine is proposing to designate perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as a Priority Chemical (PC) for reporting requirements in certain children’s products. If approved, intentionally added PFOS is required to be reported within 180 days after the effective date of the final rule.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Goods and RetailNO. 051/19

baby bottle nipples

In 2008, Maine enacted the ‘Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products’ Law. This law requires manufacturers or distributors of certain children’s products to disclose specific information if a PC is added to a product and exceeds the de minimis level.

According to the definitions in the law, a children’s product means a consumer product intended for, made for or marketed for use by children under 12 years of age, such as baby products, car seats, clothing, personal care products and toys, and any consumer product containing a chemical of high concern that when used or disposed of will likely to result in a child under 12 years of age or a fetus being exposed to that chemical.

Since enactment, Maine has designated 13 chemicals as PCs. These are bisphenol A (BPA), nonyl phenol (NP), nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEOs), formaldehyde, three metals (arsenic, cadmium and mercury), four phthalates (benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethyl phthalate (DEP) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)) and two flame retardants (decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca-BDE) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD/HBCDD)) (Safeguard 78/17).

On April 3, 2019, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a public notice to propose the designation of PFOS as a PC that requires reporting in certain children’s products. This proposal would create a completely new Chapter 890. Reporting PFOS would be required if it is intentionally added to certain categories of children’s product and exceeds the practical quantification limit (PQL). The effective date for reporting would be 180 days after the effective date of the new Chapter, or within 30 days of sale of the children’s product if the sale of such products does not commence until after the 180-day reporting period ends.

Comments on the proposal are accepted until May 6, 2019.

Highlights of the proposal are summarized in Table 1.

Department of Environmental Protection, Maine
Proposal for Chapter 890 ‘Designation of PFOS as Priority Chemical’
Priority Chemical Scope Requirement
  • Child care articles
  • Children’s clothing, footwear, sleepwear and toys
  • Cookware, tableware and reusable food and beverage containers*
  • Cosmetics and personal care products
  • Craft supplies
  • Electronic devices
  • Household furniture and furnishings
Reporting to DEP within 180 days after the effective date of the final rule if PC is intentionally added and exceeds the PQL, otherwise within 30 days of sale of the children's product
*Unless food and beverage packaging products are intentionally marketed or intended for use by children under three years of age, they are exempt from reporting

Table 1.

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