The Toy Association Statement on Phthalates

Specific restrictions on the presence of phthalates – ingredients that make some plastics soft and pliable – in toys and childcare articles are defined in 16 CFR 1307 (previously Section 108 of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), a federal law that was passed in 2008).

Under the CPSIA, permanent restrictions were established for three types of phthalates and temporary restrictions were placed on three others. After reviewing the recommendations made by a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) of experts appointed by the federal government, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a rule that restricts additional phthalates; makes the interim ban on one phthalate permanent; and lifts the interim ban on two others. As a result, a total of eight phthalates are now restricted to a maximum level of 0.1 % (1,000 ppm) in children’s toys or childcare articles. As an additional consideration, 16 CFR 1308 has also been published, which lists certain materials that are recognized as not having phthalates in their composition and are exempted from the phthalate testing requirement.

While The Toy Association and its members do not believe the rule is fully supported by scientific evidence, the rule has had very little impact on the toy industry because the restricted materials are not used in toys. As always, we support any scientific investigation that can help improve or reinforce the safety of toys.

Safety is the toy industry’s number one priority. We will continue to uphold and comply with protective standards for toy safety and pursue initiatives that will further strengthen the rigorous testing and inspection procedures that help ensure the manufacture of safe toys.

This statement was updated by The Toy Association in September 2023.