In 2008, Congress voted to outlaw the use of three types of plasticizers (called phthalates or THA-LATES) from children’s toys and childcare products, tasking the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) with assessing other chemicals of concern. In October, the CPSC voted 3-2 in favor of banning five additional phthalates in a move applauded by consumer advocates and the environmental health community. Almost impossible to avoid altogether, phthalates are found in a wide range of products, from fast food wrappers to shower curtains, instant macaroni and cheese boxes to rubber ducks. Growing evidence points toward their negative health impacts given their endocrine-disrupting properties, with researchers linking them to fertility problems, obesity, neurological problems, cardiovascular issues, and cancer.
The ban was originally proposed in 2014 but did not meet the implementation deadline. However, in 2016, a coalition of environmental health organizations sued the CPSC to finally make their decision, resulting in this vote.
Health Care Without Harm welcomes this decision to prioritize the protection of children’s health by removing toxic chemicals from children’s products. This is part of a growing trend among diverse interest groups such as medical device manufacturers, health care institutions, and retail stores to prioritize phthalates and demand safer and healthier options.
(Source: Natural Resources Defense Council)