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Consumers Union Applauds CPSC Rule to Ban Kids’ Products with Phthalates, as Required by Congress in 2008

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today voted to approve a final rule prohibiting children’s toys and child care articles in the marketplace if they contain more than a minimal level of certain phthalates, chemicals most often used to soften plastic and make it more pliable. Exposure to these chemicals by children is associated with hormone disruption and damage to reproductive development, among other serious health issues.

William Wallace, policy analyst for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports, said, “Consumers should be able to trust that their kids’ toys and other products are free of toxic chemicals. We applaud the CPSC for putting this rule in place to protect children from the health hazards of phthalates. This rule finally fulfills the intent of Congress, which voted nearly unanimously to require the CPSC to take action almost a decade ago.”

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which Congress approved by overwhelming and bipartisan votes in 2008, directed the CPSC and an expert advisory panel to examine and evaluate the health effects of phthalates and required the federal agency to protect the health of children accordingly.

This 2008 law followed a series of product safety crises that highlighted critical gaps in safety protections for consumers from hazardous products, including those imported from abroad. Consumers Union strongly supported the reforms and their implementation over the past decade. CU continues to work side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer and healthier world, including by seeking industry and policy changes to improve product safety.


Contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org, 202-462-6262


Consumers Union is the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports. Consumers Union works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace. Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications.