|CPSIA and the Green Chemistry Initiative - Recent Environmental Regulations Affecting the Plastics Molding Industry|
|by Dianna Brodine|
Be sure to learn more about these two pieces of legislation, both taking effect in early 2009. The information included here is a summary only – please do additional research to find out how these laws may affect your molding business.
Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
“Three phthalates, DEHP, DBP, and BBP, have been permanently prohibited by Congress in concentration of more than 0.1% in “children’s toys” or “child care articles.” A “children’s toy” means a product intended for a child 12 years of age or younger for use when playing, and a “child care article” means a product that a child 3 and younger would use for sleeping, feeding, sucking or teething. Three additional phthalates, DINP, DIDP, and DnOP, have been prohibited pending further study and review by a group of outside experts and the Commission. This interim prohibition applies to child care articles or toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth or brought to the mouth and kept in the mouth so that it can be sucked or chewed that contain a concentration of more than 0.1% of the above phthalates.” (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
The prohibited phthalates can not be used in any part of the toy or child care article, even if it is an internal part and will not come in contact with the child. Also included in the legislation is a tracking requirement, requiring all toys meant for children under the age of 12 to have a tracking label or other permanent mark that specifies date of manufacture, product source, and batch number. This will require plastics molders to update molds in some cases. Tracking labels are required by August 14, 2009.
Green Chemistry Initiative
The leading legislation, AB 1879, was signed into law by the Governor in September of 2008. AB 1879 directs the DTSC to establish a process by January 1, 2011 to determine which chemicals or chemical ingredients could be identified as ‘chemicals of concern’. Also required as of that date is a process to evaluate the chemicals and determine a method of reducing their hazards. According to the text of the legislation:
“The regulations would be required to specify actions that the department may take following the completion of the analysis, including imposing requirements to provide additional information, requirements for labeling or other types of product information, controlling access to or limiting exposure, managing the product at the end of its useful life, or funding green chemistry challenge grants, restrictions on the use of the chemical of concern in the product, or prohibitions on use.”