May 18: SPOTLIGHT
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in may-18
US bans 5 chemicals from kid products
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a final rule prohibiting childrenâ€™s toys and child care articles containing more than 0.1% of five kinds of phthalate chemicals. These chemicals make plastics and vinyl softer and more flexible.
A decade ago, in 2008, three other phthalates were banned in the US. Also, a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) was asked to study the effects of phthalates on the health of children. Pressure from industry has delayed the decision to ban these five chemicals.
The five kinds of phthalates that have been banned are diisononyl phthalate (DINP), diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), dinpentyl phthalate (DPENP), dinhexyl phthalate (DHEXP) and dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP).
Ingestion or being exposed to these chemicals is potentially harmful for children. Phthalates areÂ endocrine disruptors linkedÂ to reproductive malformations in baby boys, reduced fertility, developmental disorders, asthma, and increased allergic reactions. They have also been linked to childhood obesity,Â neurologicalÂ problems,Â cardiovascular issuesÂ and evenÂ cancer.
Phthalates are considered â€œeverywhere chemicalsâ€. They are found in a wide variety of products, including water bottles, fast food wrappers and shampoo.Â To protect your child, go for safer options such as fragrance-free cleaners and personal care products and non-vinyl bibs and crib mattresses. Choose plastic-free teethers and toys whenever possible.
Why kids are more vulnerable
- Children have faster metabolisms, which speeds up their rate of absorption of contaminants.
- Infants donâ€™tÂ excrete contaminants or store them in fat the way that adults do. That makes the toxicants more â€œbioavailableâ€ for their bodies and more harm is done.
- Children live closer to the ground where heavy polymers tend to settle, and are thus exposed toÂ higher concentrations of many pollutants.
Before you buy a toy or child care product look at the label. Some manufacturers mention on the labels that their products are phthalate free. Go for such products. Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad is going to make a representation to the regulatory authorities to ban these five phthalates in India as well.
Sources: Consumer Reports, www.cpsc.gov,edition.cnn.com, www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org