Contact: Liz Snyder Bowman (202) 249-6509  

Regulations Should Be Developed Using the Best Available Science

WASHINGTON (April 15, 2015) - The  High Phthalates Panel of the American Chemistry Council  submitted comments today detailing the Panel's significant concerns with the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) Proposed Rulemaking for the Prohibition of Children's Toys and Child Care Articles Containing Specified Phthalates based on the 2014 Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) Report.  
"We have serious concerns about the process by which this proposed rule was developed, the report that was used as the scientific basis for this regulation and with the proposed rule itself," said Eileen Conneely, director of the High Phthalates Panel. "Flaws in CPSC's rulemaking process combined with the serious flaws in the CHAP report demonstrate that a regulation to permanently ban the phthalate DINP in toys and childcare articles based upon recommendations in the CHAP Report would be scientifically unjustified and, therefore, arbitrary and capricious."
From the beginning of the rulemaking process, the Panel has urged CPSC to comply with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Information Quality Act (IQA) guidelines to ensure that the CHAP report was developed in an open and transparent manner with the best available science. Following the release of the final CHAP report-a report developed behind closed doors without public input-the Panel expressed concerns about the outdated data used by the CHAP to develop a cumulative risk assessment and urged CPSC to seek public comment on the CHAP report prior to the commencement of rulemaking.
"If CPSC had allowed public comment on the CHAP report, the serious flaws in the CHAP report could have been addressed before rulemaking began. Consumers should be confident that regulations are developed using the best available science, to protect them from real-not perceived-risks.  Rules that have serious marketplace implications should be based on sound science, not unsupported precautionary judgments."
The Panel's comments expand on their significant concerns with the proposed rule, including:

  • CPSC's failure to comply with IQA guidelines;
  • the CHAP's use of out-dated exposure data in the cumulative risk assessment (CRA) that underpins the proposed rule;
  • the CHAP's failure to meet its charge under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) to use the "best available" data;
  • how an expansion of the ban on the use of DINP from mouthing toys and child care articles to all toys and child care articles is inappropriate where exposures are below the level of concern for public health and CDC data show overall exposures to phthalates from all sources have decreased; and
  • the rulemaking process did not comply with the Obama Administration's commitment to  transparency and open government.

More information about the High Phthalates Panel and the Panel's full comments on the proposed rule (Docket No. CPSC-2014-033) can be found at .


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