HR4040 and What You Need to Know About Phthalates
Introduced into Congress as H.R.4040, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 became Public Law 110-314 when President George W. Bush signed it in August 2008. The law followed similar legislation enacted in 2007 in California.
The purpose of the law was, among other things, to legislate the use of phthalates (or more properly, phthalate esters) in consumer products, notably those products with which children (age 12 and under) come into contact.
Manufacturers, such as Herculite, have been using phthalate esters to soften vinyl products (such as medical bedding and other conductive fabrics) and improve their flexibility for more than 50 years with no credible evidence of harm to humans.
The concerns that prompted the legislation derived from laboratory tests which indicated some hindrance to the development of the male reproductive organs of male rodents when exposed to some phthalates. But—and this is a big but—the levels the lab subjects were exposed to far exceeded the levels of phthalates used in the manufacture of consumer goods in the USA.
What the law requires
The CPSIA required all manufacturers, such as Herculite, to reduce the amount of phthalates and heavy metals which contained DEHP, DBP, or BBP in their products to no more than 0.1 percent by February 10, 2009.
Furthermore, manufacturers were required to test their products, whether medical bedding, pillow fabrics, curtain fabrics, or other antimicrobial fabrics, to ensure these levels were met.
In compliance with the law, Herculite provides a General Conformity Certificate to accompany the specific product when it leaves our manufacturing facilities, en route through distribution, and into the consumer’s hands, whether that end-user is a hospital, nursing home, dormitory, correction facility, or cruise ship.
These certificates are written in English and include our name, address, and telephone number as well as that of any private labeler issuing the certificate and any third-party testing facility.
Compliance and commitment
Having used phthalates in the manufacture of our products for decades, we are intimately familiar with them and how they help improve the performance of these products. Herculite’s Sure-Chek healthcare fabric line was designed with healthcare professionals with the end user’s comfort and safety in mind. We are committed to providing a safe, effective product for our customers which meets all applicable federal, state, and local standards.
For complete details on Herculite’s use of phthalates, including in our Sure-Chek line, call us at 1-800-772-0036.