Canada Makes Soft Vinyl Toys, Child-Care Articles Safer

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The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced today that the Government of Canada is proposing new regulations to prevent the use of six chemicals (phthalates) in soft vinyl toys and child-care articles. Regulations are also being proposed to further reduce lead limits in consumer products.

"These regulations are yet another measure this Government is taking to help ensure that products intended for children are safe," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This is part of our overall efforts to ensure that families have confidence in the quality and safety of what they buy."

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Canada is proposing regulations to prevent the use of six phthalates (DEHP, DINP, DBP, BBP, DNOP and DIDP) in soft vinyl children’s toys and child-care articles, including certain squeeze or inflatable toys, dolls, animal figures, school supplies and vinyl bibs. Phthalates are a family of chemicals commonly used to make vinyl plastic, otherwise known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC, soft and flexible. Studies suggest that certain phthalates are hazardous to reproduction and development and may cause health effects such as liver and kidney failure in young children when products are sucked or chewed for extended periods.

In addition, the proposed Consumer Products Containing Lead (Contact with Mouth) Regulations would limit the lead content for all affected products to a maximum of 90 milligrams of lead per kilogram of product (90 mg/kg), which is among the strictest limitations in the world. The products covered by these proposed amendments include, but are not limited to: toys for children under three years of age; mouthpieces used in sports equipment, (i.e. snorkels); mouthpieces of musical instruments; pacifiers; teethers; baby bottle nipples; plastic beverage straws; and drinking cup spouts.

These regulatory actions complement the Government of Canada’s proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, which modernizes and strengthens product safety laws to further protect the health and safety of Canadians. This Act, otherwise known as Bill C-6, will improve the Government's ability to take timely compliance and enforcement actions when unsafe products are identified.

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