PLASTICS AND HEALTH
Denmark withdraws plans for further-reaching ban on phthalates / Pressure from EU Commission
Under pressure from the European Commission (EC) and a recent decision by the European Court of Justice, ruling on similar issues, Denmark has abandoned plans to single-handedly ban certain phthalates, including DEHP, DBP, DIBP and BBP.

In announcing the plans in 2012, then-environment minister Ida Auken said the low molecular weight phthalates had been linked to reduced sperm count in boys as well as early onset of puberty in girls and were suspected of causing liver cancer in mice – see Plasteurope.com of 04.09.2012. Noting that phthalates are regulated by the EU’s REACH legislation, the Commission suggested that the Scandinavian country had overstepped its legal boundaries.

Another factor in the Danish decision to withdraw the planned legislation is that the use of products containing the phthalates, such as PVC flooring and other flexible PVC products – in particular imports from Asia – was more widespread than initially thought, and manufacturers would need more time to develop substitutes. Denmark originally had planned for the ban to come into force in 2013 but later postponed the date to 2015 to allow time to deal with multiple issues.

The country’s current environment minister, Kirsten Brosbøll, said she would ask the next EU health commissioner to put endocrine disruptors on the agenda for discussion again, adding that she understands other EU member states are interested. In 2005, the EU banned DINP, DIDP and DNOP in toys and other articles that can be put into the mouth by children, but did not follow through on initial plans for an outright ban on DEHP, DBP and BBP, which had been identified as reprotoxic – see Plasteurope.com of 28.07.2005.

With backing from Denmark and Sweden, the French government is understood to have asked the 24 June meeting of EU environment ministers to put its endocrine disruptor strategy on the table, saying it was losing patience with the Commission’s foot dragging. As with other complex topics, the scientific community has not produced analyses of phthalates sufficiently water-tight to encourage the EU to take up the controversial issue with manufacturers.

Blaming the “chemicals lobby,” Swedish environment minister Lena Ek in May of this year said Sweden would sue the EU over its slow action on endocrine disruptors – see Plasteurope.com of 27.05.2014.
17.07.2014 Plasteurope.com 911 [228745-0]
Published on 17.07.2014
Dänemark: Verbot von Phthalaten vorerst aufgehobenGerman version of this article...

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