Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) along with Representatives Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), this week called on the CPSC to ensure that any children’s products purchased after Feb. 10 will not contain phthalates.

Last week CPSC’s general counsel issued a legal opinion about how the commission should enforce a ban on the toxic chemical found in children’s toys and childcare products. The opinion stated the ban should only apply to products made after the Feb. 10 enactment date, not any toys or childcare items manufactured before that date.

Senator Feinstein and Representatives Waxman, Schakowsky and DeGette sent a letter to Acting CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Hill Moore, requesting that the CPSC correct its legal interpretation to reflect the true congressional intent of the legislation, which states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture for sale, offer for sale, distribute in commerce or import into the United States any children’s toy or child care article” that contains certain phthalates.

Phthalates are chemicals added to common plastic products, including teethers, rubber ducks, and vinyl shower curtains, to make them soft and pliable. Exposure to phthalates can cause severe long-term health effects.

The ban on phthalates, sponsored by Senator Feinstein, was included in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Reps. Waxman, Schakowsky and DeGette were on the CPSC Conference Committee and fought to keep the phthalate amendment in the bill. The legislation was signed into law by President Bush on August 14.

See Related: HEALTH CARE

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