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Product categoriesFurniture, homewares & window furnishingsPlastic children's items with more than 1% DEHP

Plastic children's items with more than 1% DEHP

Plastic yellow toy duck

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What is DEHP?

DEHP is a  chemical identified by the unique Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) Number 117-81-7. It is also known as:

  • Diethylhexyl phthalate
  • Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate and Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate.

DEHP is a commonly used plasticiser that is used to make plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) soft and flexible.

Risks associated with DEHP

Research conducted by the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) shows:

  • a risk of reproductive toxicity for children up to and including 36 months of age who may extensively chew and suck (mouth) objects on a recurrent basis for substantial periods of time—in excess of 40 minutes per day
  • no risk to older children or to adults because they have less substantial mouth contact with plastic materials that contain DEHP
  • no safety concerns for people in any age group, including infants, if their skin comes into contact with products containing DEHP.

While studies in Australia and New Zealand show very few children's plastic products in these markets contain more than 1 per cent DEHP, this ban brings Australia into line with similar overseas regulations.

Affected products

There is a permanent ban on certain plastic products that are:

  • intended for children up to and including 36 months of age
  • contain or have an accessible component containing more than 1 per cent by weight of DEHP
  • products that children up to and including 36 months of age can readily chew and or suck .

This permanent ban only applies to toys, childcare articles, and eating vessels and utensils that meet each of the above criteria.  These include but are not limited to:

  • toys
  • dummies, pacifiers, teething rings, teething rails, rattles, bibs, gum soothers, and comforting objects
  • feeding bottles, sip or sucking cups, bowls, plates, and cutlery.


This permanent ban was declared on 1 February 2011. This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with the ban.


Check for any recalls related to this page.

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