Congress Passes Ban on Phthalates

Recently, Congress voted to pass the Children’s Safe Product Act of 2008 which would ban phthalates, lead and cadmium from products targeted to children under 12.

Phthalates are used in children’s toys to give them their flexibility, as well as in many body care products (usually identified if the product contains “fragrance” as an ingredient. Phthalates are believed to cause early puberty in girls, premature delivery, impaired sperm quality and sperm damage in men, genital defects and reduced testosterone production in boys, genital defects and testicular cancer.

Lead, as everyone knows, is toxic and can lead to irreversible brain damage, particularly in small children. When the act takes effect, all toys will be required to go through lead testing BEFORE they hit retailers shelves (what a revolutionary idea). This falls under my “no duh” category, but grateful congress is finally seeing the light and taking steps to protect the most vulnerable consumers – our children.

While this is nothing short of great news, unfortunately, this will not be in time for parents to feel secure in buying safe products for Christmas, as the act will not take effect for 6 months. I also understand retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target will stop selling such products as of January 2009.

However, the act is certainly a good thing and a step in the right direction. From what I gather, the act is also supposed to continually review chemicals and ingredients in children’s products and constantly improve them and continue to ban harmful substances.

I do question what they are replacing phthalates with, and is it safe?  

News Articles:

Fox News
ABC news article
EWG
Bush to sign bill

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