The EU is to abandon moves towards a blanket ban on use of phthalates softeners in PVC toys for young children, it has emerged. A row over how to regulate phthalates has split EU governments down the middle, with one camp seeking permanent prohibition and the other legal limits on migration into children's saliva.
Emergency prohibition has been in force since December 1999, affecting only toys designed to be sucked or chewed by under threes. It has already been agreed that this ban should be made permanent, while controversy has raged over phthalates in the much larger number of articles not intended but capable of being mouthed.
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