Spain sits on the fence over soft PVC toys

Government waits for EU advice as Spanish toy industry, Greenpeace, fight it out

The Spanish government is refusing to bow to conflicting pressures from industry and environmental groups to take a clear stand on future regulation of the use of phthalate softeners in children's PVC toys. Both Spanish toy manufacturers and Greenpeace have been lobbying for some kind of statement from the government in recent weeks, but a spokesperson for the National Institute for Consumer Affairs told ENDS Daily today that the government "will not be responding to pressure from either side in the debate and will continue to follow advice" from the European Commission. Following the validation of a scientific method for testing the rate of migration of phthalates into saliva when softened PVC toys are sucked or chewed (ENDS Daily 2 June), the Spanish Toy Manufacturers' Association (AEFJ) launched a public defence of soft PVC toys. The association also claimed that a report on the issue recently published by the American Council of Science and Health had bolstered the arguments for phthalates being safe to use. Greenpeace Spain criticised both this position and the US report, which it said had been produced by a body funded by large companies including manufacturers of phthalates.

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