CPSC Vote to Restrict DINP in Toys and Child-Care Articles Ignores Decades of Established Science

DINP can continue to safely be used in many consumer and commercial products.

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 October 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada released their Draft Screening Assessment for the Phthalate Substance Grouping. The proposed conclusion is that “all 14 phthalates in the Phthalate Substance Grouping [including DINP] do not meet the criteria under paragraph 64(c) of CEPA as they are not entering the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.” Furthermore, Canada stated: “A cumulative risk assessment, using a conservative, lower-tiered hazard index (HI) approach has been conducted and indicates no concern for potential cumulative risk of medium-chain phthalates for the general Canadian population, specifically the more sensitive subpopulations (pregnant women/women of childbearing age, infants, and children) at current exposure levels. The HI values for the three subpopulations with the highest estimated exposure levels are all below 1. Hence, further refinement to a higher-tiered assessment is not necessary at this time.”

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