The announcement comes today as the Canadian federal government has finally agreed to ban six phthalates, chemicals that are commonly used in the manufacture of children’s vinyl toys. This new regulation will be implemented in June of this year.

Phthalates are found in items such as bath toys, soothers, teethers, squeeze toys, inflatable toys, rattles and bibs. Phthalates are the additive that make toys soft and flexible. The chemicals become dangerous when the chemicals are leached out of the toy, generally through saliva when young children put these items in their mouth.

If you haven’t had the chance to read the book “Slow Death By Rubber Duck” by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, we recommend it. If you have read it, you’ve learned all about the dangers of exposure to phthalates through hormone disruption damaging the reproductive systems of small children. This ban here in Canada comes almost 10 years after Europe and the United States banned the use of these chemicals in children’s products. Now Canadians will have the same protection. Thank you Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq!

Although this is a great win for Canadian children, it’s wise to be aware that phthalates are used in a variety of other commonly used products that may not be regulated by the ban. They are also found in many consumer products to hold scent and colour such as perfumes, nail polish, vinyl floors, detergents, food packaging, soap, paint, shampoo and good old plastic bags. You can avoid these by checking out the ingredient panels of your commonly used products and saying “no” to the following list of ingredients:

  • DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate)
  • DINP (diisonlnyl phthalate)
  • DBP (dibutyl phthalate)
  • BBP (benzyl butyl phthalate)
  • DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate)
  • DIDP (diisodecyl phthalate)
  • DMP (dimethyl phthalate)
  • DEP (diethyl phthalate)