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Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Eileen Conneely, M.P.H., J.D.

Children’s Toys and Phthalates

In 2008, the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act permanently banned 3 phthalates at concentrations greater than 0.1 percent in children’s toys and childcare articles, and created a temporary ban on three additional phthalates (DINP, DIDP, and DnOP) in children’s toys that could be placed in a child’s mouth and childcare articles. In 2018, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) ban on DINP in toys and child-care articles became permanent and was extended to all children’s toys and child care articles for concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of DINP and 7 other phthalates. CPSC removed the interim prohibition on the use of DIDP and DnOP in toys and childcare articles, determining that they do not cause adverse effects on male reproductive development and that other risks attendant to their use are low.

The decision to restrict the use of DINP in children’s products, however, is not based on science. In September 2012, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing joined regulatory bodies in the United States and Europe, which found that current uses of DINP in consumer products are not expected to pose a risk to human health.

NICNAS performed a comprehensive review of the available scientific literature on the phthalate DINP, including the report to the CPSC by the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) on DINP in 2001 and the most recent publicly available U.S. assessment, the 2010 CPSC staff toxicity report on DINP.

In December 2020, Environment and Climate Change Canada published a comprehensive risk evaluation of the use of DINP1 and DIDP2 in all existing applications, including coated fabrics, sheet vinyl and food packaging. The Agency found no human (for infants, children or adults) or environmental health concerns. As a result, the Agency concluded that DINP and DIDP “…are not harmful to the environment or to human health as set out in section 64 of CEPA 1999.”3

1 Environment and Climate Change Canada; State of the Science report on DINP

2 Environment and Climate Change Canada; State of the Science report on DIDP

3 Phthalate Substance Grouping – information sheet - Canada.ca