PVC industry perplexed by toy scare

EU trade association questions scientific study results, defends safety of phthalates

The European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM) has called into question a scientific study which suggested that babies could get high doses of the plasticiser chemical phthalates by sucking PVC teething rings (ENDS Daily 28 May). Some phthalates are suspected of harming animal hormone, or endocrine, systems. Following inquiries by ENDS Daily, the ECVM issued a statement today in which the association said that it "wants to investigate urgently the basis and validity of the tests" conducted by the Danish EPA. "We must emphasise that there is no evidence...to support the view that phthalates may pose a human health problem," said ECVM director, John Svalander. "The latest studies on animals indicate that DINP - the phthalate used in these toys - does not disrupt the hormone system." A spokesman for the ECVM today also responded to a statement made yesterday by Sweden's environment minister Anna Lindh in which she blamed the PVC indus try for not having removed "hazardous" additives. "[Ms Lindh's] opposition to PVC is very well known and seems to be based on misconceptions....It is not clear what additives she means."

Follow Up:
European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers , tel: +32 2 675 2971.

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