AUGUSTA — Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho has issued a ruling to elevate certain kinds of household chemicals to priority status.

Aho’s approval elevates four phthalates from “high concern” to “priority chemical” status in Maine. A spokesman says the Office of the Maine Attorney General now has 30 days to review the ruling, after which it will go to Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap.

Manufacturers need to report use of the chemicals in products sold in Maine under the proposal. Phthalates are used in personal care items and other products. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says research is needed to assess the health effects of exposure to phthalates.

Opponents say the state’s proposal still leaves pregnant women under-informed about which products contain phthalates.

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