Austria moves to confiscate phthalate toys

Ministry complains of "flouting" of sales ban, starts preparing legislation for seizure

Austria is preparing legislative changes to enable it to confiscate toys containing phthalate plasticisers from shops, consumer affairs minister Barbara Prammer has announced. The move follows the widespread flouting of a ban on sales of such toys which came into force in January, a ministry spokesperson told ENDS Daily (ENDS Daily 20 January). The ban was specifically targeted at toys for children under three years old, who may be at risk of liver and kidney disease if the plasticisers "leach" from toys when sucked. The spokesperson said that more than 100 instances of toys containing phthalates had been detected since the ban came into force, and the authorities had drawn up a list of individual toys it wished to outlaw. Mrs Prammer hopes to do this by amending existing legislation permitting the confiscation of dangerous goods. This does not list specific products, but officials say that a clause incorporating the precautionary principle should enable it to be used to cover toys containing phthalates.

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