First, a brief recap:
(If you don’t know about the chemicals called phthalates, read our blogs Is Your Crib Mattress Phthalates Free? Why You Need to Find Out and New Phthalates Research Indicates Male Children Less Male in Play.)
As of February 9, 2009, certain products made for children – including crib mattresses – could no longer contain more than 1,000 parts per million of any of three types of phthalates. That’s 1,000 PPM per phthalate per item. The ban on those three types of phthalates is permanent.
A temporary ban was also put on three other phthalates, but only in products a child could put in his mouth, suck or chew. More research is to be done on the additional three phthalates to determine if they should also be permanently banned like the other three.
The Commission was supposed to post its procedures for accrediting labs to test for phthalates in June 2009 and, as of September, 2009, manufacturers were supposed to have their products certified as compliant with the phthalates limits based on third-party testing by accredited third-party laboratories.
However, the September 2009 certification date was extended to February 10, 2010, and, as of this month, has now been extended indefinitely. Why? Because no third-party labs have yet been CPSC accredited.
There are significant penalties for non-compliance but, since there’s no way of proving anything at this point, it’s hard to say how those penalties will be enforced.
Given that some companies have found it cheaper to pay fines than comply with laws, and given that many chemicals that were once determined safe at certain levels were later found to be hazardous, I’d personally feel safer with a product that uses no phthalates, and never has. Like Naturepedic.