In 2009, we blogged about plastics that contain (and release)
phthalates, plasticizers used in the manufacture of soft vinyl used
in many products (Link: Slow death by rubber duck – http://envirolaw.com/slow-death-by-rubber-duck/ ). New
Phthalates Regulations under the Hazardous Products Act
(HPA) were registered on December 9 2010, and will come into force
on June 9, 2011. They should help reduce phthalate exposure for
babies and toddlers.
Phthalates leach out of plastic, for example via the saliva from
soothers during sucking and chewing (not licking), and can be
absorbed into the bloodstream. Some phthalates have been linked to
reproductive and developmental toxicities in animals.
The regulations restrict advertising, sale and importation of
toys and child care articles (e.g., teethers) made of vinyl that
contains any of six phthalates (see the full chemical names and
abbreviations, below). These regulations are consistent with
measures taken by the United States and European Union.
In 1998, Canadian industry voluntarily removed the 2 main
phthalates used in teethers and pacifiers (DEHP, DINP), but as most
of these products are manufactured off-shore, the impact has not
been significant. These regulations represent a positive first step
in making sure that exposure to phthalates is minimized in our most
vulnerable population – infants and young children.
The regulations – they're brief!
Soft vinyl products may contain up to 1000 mg/kg (0.1% w/w) of
DEHP, DBP or BBP. As well, any part of a product containing vinyl
that could "in a reasonably foreseeable manner" be placed
in in the mouth of a child under 4 years of age may contain up to
1000 mg/kg of DINP, DIDP or DNOP.
The regulations set out how one identifies if such a product can
be "placed in the mouth" of a child – if any
part of the product can be brought to the child's mouth to be
sucked and chewed AND if one of its dimensions (in its deflated
state, where applicable) is less than 5 centimetres. Of note,
vinyl-containing products that exceed 5 cm in all dimensions or
that can only be licked, are not considered a concern, as these
cannot be placed in the child's mouth.
Health concerns – phthalates
DEHP, DBP and BBP have been
linked to reproductive and developmental toxicity, as well as liver
and kidney effects, in rodents. Of particular concern to regulators
is that the estimated average daily intake of DEHP, by children
under 4 years of age, may slightly exceed the tolerable daily
intake. Assessments under the Canadian Environmental Protection
Act, 1999 (CEPA) concluded that the average daily intake of
DBP and BBP, will not cause adverse health effects in humans.
As for DNOP, data are insufficient to determine
an appropriate tolerable daily intake or whether this agent affects
human life or health. DINP and
DIDP have not been assessed under CEPA. However, a
1998 Health Canada risk assessment (and recent re-calculation) of
DINP-containing soft vinyl children's products concluded that
there is a potential health risk for children under 3 years old who
suck or chew on such products for prolonged periods. A 2001 US
Consumer Product Safety Commission report also concluded that there
may be a concern for children up to 18 months of age who mouth
DINP-containing soft vinyl toys for 75 minutes or more per day. The
US Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction has
reported rodent studies showing the DINP and DIDP pose
developmental hazards to rodents.
The six phthalates:
Di(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate (DEHP) — CAS Number
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) — CAS Number 84-74-2
Benzyl Butyl Phthalate (BBP) — CAS Number 85-68-7
Diisononyl Phthalate (DINP) — CAS Numbers 28553-12-0
Diisodecyl Phthalate (DIDP) — CAS Numbers 26761-40-0
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In Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench enforced the "immediate replacement" provision in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen 2007 Operating Procedure...
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