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International Coatings Product Compliance

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law on Aug. 14, 2008. The CPSIA is designed to allow the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to better regulate the safety of products made and imported for sale in the U.S. The CPSIA contains regulations that are intended to make products for children under age 12 safer by requiring manufacturers and importers to show that these products do not have harmful levels of lead and phthalates. To view a copy of the law, go to

International Coatings screen print ink products marked "Phthalate Compliant" or "Non-Phthalate" comply with the lead and phthalate content restrictions of the CPSIA and the heavy metal restrictions of the Consumer Product Safety Act, Title 16 CFR Part 1303.*

Introduction and Phthalate Information Sources

International Coatings recognizes that there is considerable interest in the CSPIA regulations, particularly as they apply to phthalates and their impact on the apparel screen printing industry. The following PDF Fact Sheets from the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) provide information on the CPSIA and its compliance requirements:

There are other groups besides the SGIA that offer information on phthalates - e.g., the Phthalate Esters Panel and the Phthalate Information Centre Europe. You can access these organizations and learn more about phthalates by visiting their web sites - (Phthalate Ester Panel) and (Phthalate Information Centre Europe).

Phthalate Basics

Phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are organic chemicals derived from oil. They are the most commonly used plasticizers in the world. Phthalates have been in use for about 50 years, primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) soft and flexible. They are colorless, oily liquids with little or no odor and low volatility. Phthalates are widely used because of their performance, cost, durability, and their contribution to overall product sustainability.

Phthalates are always incorporated with other materials into an end product. They are most commonly blended with PVC resins, pigments and additives to produce everything from textile screen print inks, to PVC flooring and cable sheathing, to life-saving medical devices, such as vinyl blood bags and IV tubing. Not all phthalates are used as plasticizers for PVC. Phthalates keep nail polish from chipping, make perfume linger longer, or make tool handles strong and more resistant to breaking.

Health and Environmental Effects

Because phthalates are so widely used, they have undergone extensive testing for possible health and environmental effects. They are among the most widely researched of all chemical substances. Research findings and current assessments of the health and environmental effects of phthalates indicate that they do not pose a conclusive risk to human health or the environment.

Phthalates do not persist in the environment; they biodegrade readily. They do not accumulate in animals or humans; inside the body, they break down quickly and are excreted. Most importantly, in their long history of use, there is not one known case of them ever having caused anyone any demonstrable harm. To the contrary, they are important and often unique components of many of today's life saving medical devices.

Despite its long record of successful use, some concerns have been raised in recent years about possible human health effects from phthalate exposure. These concerns are based on studies that showed some adverse health effects in rodents, at much higher exposures than normally would be encountered by people. Most attention has centered on ortho-phthalates and the finding that high doses of some of these phthalates can interfere with normal sexual development in male rodents. However, there were also lower doses at which there were no effects, and even these "no effect doses" were far above those that any human being would be exposed to under any realistic scenario.

The major phthalates in commerce today have not been shown to interfere with or mimic either the estrogen or androgen receptors when tested in laboratory animals. That is, they neither activate the male or female hormone receptors nor prevent activation by natural hormones.

To learn more about the health and environmental effects of phthalates, visit Links are provided on the site to more detailed discussions, government reports, industry filings with regulatory agencies, and other relevant Web sites.

What is required to be 'Phthalate Compliant'?

Products comply with the CPSIA if they do not contain more than 0.1% of any of the six phthalates restricted or banned by the new state and federal laws. These six phthalates are:

DEHP (Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate)
DBP (Dibutyl phthalate)
BBP (Benzyl butyl phthalate)
DINP (Di-isononyl phthalate)
DIDP (Di-isodecyl phthalate)
DnOP (Di-n-octyl phthalate)

To be clear, the laws do not restrict or ban the use of all phthalates, just the six named above.

What are 'Non-Phthalate' inks?

Non-Phthalate inks or compounds do not contain phthalate based plasticizers.

What are Non-PVC & Non-Phthalate inks?

These are inks or compounds that do not contain PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) resins or phthalate based plasticizers.

* International Coatings standard ink products contain less than 90 ppm by weight of lead. International Coatings ink products marked "Phthalate Compliant" or "Non-Phthalate" are no longer formulated with the following six restricted phthalates nor are they intentionally added to these inks as part of the manufacturing process: DEHP (Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate), DBP (Dibutyl phthalate), BBP (Benzyl butyl phthalate), DINP (Di-isononyl phthalate), DIDP (Di-isodecyl phthalate), and DnOP (Di-n-octyl phthalate). The information provided is believed to be accurate based on the scientific data supplied to International Coatings by its suppliers and is presented in good faith. The information presented is intended only as a source of information and given without guarantee and does not constitute a warranty. Since the conditions under which this information may be applied are beyond its control, International Coatings can assume no liability for the result of the application. It is incumbent upon the users of International Coatings products to satisfy themselves that any end products derived meet all applicable regulatory requirements since International Coatings does not control the handling, processing or final use of the above products. Users should also independently determine, prior to use, the suitability of International Coatings products for their specific applications. No warranty, expressed or implied is given.



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