Hot Matters, Cold Matters, It Matters

Drago: It Matters Product Safety Column.

Friday, August 13, 2010

These days it’s hard to digest and make sense of all the information that comes our way with regard to certain chemicals, especially when information can seem conflicting and difficult to understand. It can be a tough time to be a savvy, sane consumer. Rest assured that Thermos is constantly taking steps to make sure its products are not only useful and reliable but safe.

Responsible manufacturers know and obey the law! The US has had consumer safety laws in place since the early 1970s, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was created. But since then, a lot of new products and new uses for chemicals have come into the marketplace. So, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in 2008. I fully agree it was time to update the rules and make sure industry complied. I am especially pleased that responsible companies like Thermos are fully aware of and compliant with the changes Congress recently made to ensure that products offered to the US marketplace are safe, especially for children.

One area that the new law addresses is a class of chemicals called phthalates. In general, phthalates are chemicals that are added to plastics to make them more flexible or resilient. Concern has been raised about possible adverse health effects resulting from exposure to phthalates. Phthalates have been deemed safe by some and dangerous by others. I believe that good science should underlie regulations and am pleased that the CPSC is organizing a task group of experts, known as a CHAP, Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel, to specifically consider everything scientifically known about phthalates, and to report back with recommendations.

Meanwhile, to ensure that children are not exposed to these chemicals, the CPSC has ruled that children’s toys and child care articles cannot contain more than 0.1% of three particular phthalates. Among other items, child care articles include drink containers and drinking cups for children age 3 and younger.

Another chemical the new law tackles is lead. The more we learn about lead the more we realize it can have toxic effects in lower doses than previously thought. The CPSIA now limits lead in paint to 90 parts per million (ppm), substantially lower than the previous limit of 600 ppm. In addition, CPSIA limits accessible lead in children’s products made after August 14, 2009 to 300 ppm.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that raises concern for its potential to leach from containers into the food or drink in the container. As with phthalates, BPA’s potential health effects are not fully known or understood, but are being studied by the Food and Drug Administration and others.

Thermos wants to dispel any concerns you may have about chemicals in its products.

> Thermos products are free of phthalates or meet the limits required by law

> Thermos products are made without BPA

> Thermos products are made without lead or meet the limits required by law

> Certificates of compliance with all the new rules are available on Thermos’ website

> Visit www.thermos.com/cpsia/ to view these critical certificates of compliance

*Article commissioned by Thermos L.L.C.


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BPA Free Why it matters

Bisphenol A

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a controversial chemical that can be found in the lining of food cans, certain water bottles and more. Some researchers have linked the hormone-mimicking chemical to a host of issues including behavioral and developmental effects in kids. Thermos plays it safe, and has made a commitment to only manufacture products that are BPA-free.