MP REPORT: Protecting our children

Our Harper government is committed to protecting Canadian families from dangerous products and chemicals.

That is why we are making good on a promise to ban a toxic chemical additive in soft plastic toys and other children’s products.  We are taking action on phthalates to protect those most vulnerable – our young children.

The new regulations, to be implemented in June, take aim at six phthalates, a family of chemicals known to cause reproductive harm and commonly used to make vinyl plastic soft and flexible.  The additive will no longer be permitted to be used in items that are designed or are likely to be put in the mouths of children under four years of age.  These include teethers, rattles, bath toys, squeeze or inflatable toys and vinyl bibs.

It is the amount of phthalates that leach out of the soft vinyl during periods of sucking and chewing that migrate into the body, and this can be harmful.

The new regulations will ensure products that are imported, sold or advertised in Canada do not present a risk of phthalate exposure to our children and infants.

In 2009, our government proposed regulations to restrict the use of six phthalates in the soft vinyl of children’s toys and childcare articles.  The limit for each phthalate is 1,000 mg/kg (0.1 per cent).

Our Conservative government has demonstrated our ongoing commitment to consumer product safety through new regulations on lead, cribs and cradles, and surface coating materials. Together with suppliers and other stakeholders, we will continue our efforts to protect the health and safety of Canadians by developing new regulations as necessary, together with suppliers and other stakeholders.

Colin Mayes is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Shuswap.