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Opponents of PVC toys defeated by science again

Consumers and manufacturers alike were reassured of the safety of vinyl toys last month as the U.S. Consumer Produc...


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March 7, 2003 by Canadian Plastics

Consumers and manufacturers alike were reassured of the safety of vinyl toys last month as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) rejected a 1998 petition to ban PVC in toys for children 5 years and under. CPSC relied on its own staff’s recommendation which was made after reviewing substantial scientific evidence that children playing with or chewing vinyl toys are not in any danger.
"We are pleased that rational, science-based decision-making has prevailed in this regulatory process," said Marian Stanley, manager of the Phthalate Esters Panel of the American Chemistry Council. "For anyone willing to look at the evidence, the great vinyl toy scare is history."
A few years ago, uncertainties regarding diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and its migration resulted in a voluntary agreement being reached with manufacturers to not use DINP in teethers, rattles and pacifiers. DINP is a plasticizer used in soft vinyl products.
However, the CPSC staff and independent experts on the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) have now completed five years of study which included research on the mouthing habits of young children. The panel reported in 2001 that risk to most children would be "minimal to non-existent."
"We can all feel reassured that vinyl toys are safe for their intended use," said Tim Burns, president of the Vinyl Institute, which represents the leading manufacturers of PVC. "That should be gratifying to consumers and to the industries that work responsibly to make products that benefit customers."