PLASTICS AND HEALTH
EU committee finds DEHP as of “very high concern” for the environment / Health decision still due
The EU member state committee (MSC), reviewing a revised Danish proposal to classify the phthalate DEHP as a “substance of very high concern” (SVHC) due to its potential endocrine-disrupting effect on the environment, has voted unanimously in favour of this classification, but failed to reach unanimous agreement on identifying the substance as having an equivalent level of concern for human health. Due to the lack of a consensus, for the first time an MSC opinion with majority and minority views on the SVHC proposals will now be sent to the European Commission for final decision.

While the majority of MSC members held that the low molecular weight phthalate used principally in PVC products, along with three others initially proposed by the Scandinavian country including DBP, DIBP and BBP – see Plasteurope.com of 04.09.2012 and 17.07.2014 – most likely has CMR (cancerous, mutagen, reprotoxic) properties, a minority opinion thought its reprotoxicity classification for the environment covered the health aspect as well.

In 2012, Denmark drafted plans for a single-handed ban on all four phthalates saying they had been linked to reduced sperm count in boys as well as early onset of puberty in girls and were also suspected of causing liver cancer in mice. However, under pressure from the Commission it withdrew the proposal. Another factor was that the Danish environment ministry had found use of products containing the phthalates – especially through Asian imports – to be more widespread than previously believed.

Under REACH rules, the Secretariat of the Risk Assessment Committee of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA, Helsinki / Finland; www.echa.europa.eu) will submit the MSC opinion to the EC following its adoption in the MSC meeting in February 2015. Within three months, the EU governing body will be obliged to prepare a draft proposal on identification of these substances as SVHCs having endocrine disrupting properties for human health. The final decision will be up to the Commission.
17.12.2014 Plasteurope.com [229997-0]
Published on 17.12.2014
Phthalate: Verschärfte REACH-Einstufung vorerst gescheitertGerman version of this article...

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