Section 108 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) permanently prohibits the sale of children’s toys or child care articles containing more than 0.1 percent of certain phthalates since August 14, 2008. The prohibition does not apply to any component part that is not accessible to a child through normal and reasonably foreseeable use and abuse of such product. CPSIA also directed the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to promulgate a rule providing guidance on phthalate-containing inaccessible component parts.
On February 14, 2013, the CPSC published guidance on inaccessible component parts in children’s toys or child care articles containing phthalates (16 CFR 1199) with immediate effect. The guidance has adopted similar approach with respect to the accessibility of lead under CPSIA section 101, with additional consideration of whether such component can be placed in a child’s mouth. Please see the details as follows:
A component part would be considered inaccessible if it is not physically exposed by a sealed covering or casting and through normal and reasonably foreseeable use including swallowing, mouthing, breaking or other children’s activities, and the aging of the product.
Accessibility should be determined by the accessibility probes specified for sharp points or edges.
Relative abuse tests (exclusion of bite tests) should be used to evaluate accessibility of children’s toys and child care articles for suitable age or age groups.
Paints, coatings or electroplating are not considered to be a barrier that would render phthalates-containing component parts inaccessible.
A children’s toy or child care article that is enclosed by fabric and passes the appropriate use and abuse tests on such covers, is considered as inaccessible to a child, unless the product or part of the product is smaller than 5cm in one dimension.
Vinyl or other plasticized materials covered mattresses/sleep surfaces that are designed or intended to facilitate sleep of children age 3 and younger, are considered accessible and would not be considered as inaccessible through the use of fabric coverings including sheets and mattress pads.
Remark The intentional disassembly or destruction of products by children older than age 8 years, by means or knowledge not generally available to younger children, including use of tools, will not be considered in evaluating products for accessibility of phthalate-containing components.