In an effort to resolve inconsistencies in several consumer product regulations within the scope of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (“CCPSA“), Health Canada has implemented certain changes, including a June 22nd, 2016 change to the scope of the Phthalates Regulations (“Regulations”).

The Regulations outline the allowable quantities of phthalates in child care articles and toys containing vinyl. These restrictions are intended to prevent potential safety risks to children who are exposed to products containing phthalates. Similar policies regulating phthalates in soft vinyl children’s items exist in the US and the EU.

What Do The Regulations Require?

 The regulations indicate that the vinyl in child care articles and toys are limited to:

  • no more than 1,000 mg/kg of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) or benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP); and
  • no more than 1,000 mg/kg of diisononyl phthalate (DINP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) or di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP), where it is reasonably foreseeable that the vinyl in any part of such items could be placed in the mouth of a child under four.Products subject to the regulations include toys intended for use by children under the age of fourteen, and child care products intended to facilitate the relaxation, sleep, hygiene, feeding, sucking or teething of a child under four, such as pacifiers and rattles.

What is the Change?

 The Regulations are no longer limited to the importation, sale or advertising of phthalates-containing products and now also expressly precludes the manufacture of a consumer product containing phthalates. The change resolves any ambiguity over the obligations of all Canadian manufactures of child care articles and toys to fully comply with the Phthalates Regulations.

Thanks goes to Courtney Laidlaw for her contributions to this post.


Jonathan D. Cocker heads Baker McKenzie’s Environmental Practice Group in Canada and is an active member of the firm's Global Consumer Goods & Retail and Energy, Mining and Infrastructure groups. Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environmental and product compliance matters, including extended producer responsibilities, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, and contaminated lands matters. He assisted in the founding of one of North America’s first Circular Economy Producer Responsibility Organizations and provides advice and representation to a number of domestic and international industry groups in respect of resource recovery obligations. Mr. Cocker was recently appointed the first Sustainability Officer of the International Bar Association Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on environmental issues and has authored numerous publications including recent publications in the Environment and Climate Change Law Review, Detritus – the Official Journal of the International Waste Working Group, Chemical Watch, Circular Economy: Global Perspectives published by Springer, and in the upcoming Yale University Journal of Industrial Ecology’s special issue on Material Efficiency for Climate Change Mitigation. Mr. Cocker maintains a blog focused upon international resource recovery issues at