EU renews PVC plasticiser emergency ban

Prohibition on use of six phthalates in childcare items extended for further three months

An EU-wide ban on the PVC plasticiser chemicals, phthalates has been renewed for a further three months, the European Commission revealed yesterday. This is the third time that the emergency order has been renewed since it was originally instated last December (ENDS Daily 1 December 1999).

The ban covers six types of phthalates from use in items designed to be sucked by children under three. Its introduction followed two years of fierce debate between EU countries which grew out of Danish research suggesting health risks to children from ingesting phthalates leaching out of plasticised PVC toys such as baby teething rings.

A draft directive to permanently outlaw the use of phthalates in childcare items was proposed at the same time and is currently being debated in the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament (ENDS Daily 7 July). The current ban will continue in force until 5 December.

Follow Up:
European Commission, tel: +32 2 299 1111, and the full text of the Commission decision.

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