EU phthalates ban extended by six months
The EU's temporary ban on phthalates in suckable toys for children under three has been renewed again. Since it was introduced in 1999 the ban has been renewed 16 times in three-month instalments. A change in EU administrative rules means the prohibition can now be prolonged by as much as a year. The Commission has chosen an extension of only six months, however, possibly indicating it will propose a permanent legislation on phthalates later this year. The Commission acknowledges "some relevant developments" in risk-assessing the substances (EED 22/01/04). See phthalates decision.