European Union Risk Assessments Find No Concern For Current Uses of Three Phthalates

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A statement by the Phthalate Esters Panel of the American Chemistry Council: European scientists disagree with European politicians who banned uses of DINP, DIDP and DBP.

The European Union recently banned the use of a number of phthalates in children's toys (http://www.phthalates.org/toys-info-sheet.asp), including the most commonly used one, DINP. And the EU also banned the use of DBP and some other phthalates in cosmetics (http://www.phthalates.org/pcp_info_sheet.asp). The question is: "why?"

Not on the basis of any reliable evidence that they pose a threat to humans, the Phthalate Esters Panel has always maintained. And now the EU agrees! For the last ten years, member state scientific institutes have been conducting rigorous risk assessments of the major phthalates under the supervision of the European Chemicals Bureau. Three final reports were published April 13, 2006. They express themselves in somewhat different ways, but are clear in their findings.

For DINP as currently used, its full report flatly states that there is "no concern" for adults, children and infants. The report explicitly covers DINP's use in toys. You can find the full report at http://www.dinp-facts.com/upload/documents/document3.pdf

A final report was also published on DIDP, which is a vinyl plasticizer used in flooring, wires and cabling. It expressed no concerns about DIDP as it is currently used. Full version of the report is at http://www.didp-facts.com/upload/documents/document5.pdf

The findings on DBP were also crystal clear; the report found "no concern for consumers using nail polish containing DBP". Addressing a recently raised issue, the review panel also found "no concern for breast-fed babies." Learn more about the findings: http://www.dbp-facts.com/upload/documents/document30.pdf

"We are making these reports available to state legislators who are being lobbied to support copycat versions of EU legislation banning DINP and DBP," said Marian Stanley, manager of the Phthalates Esters Panel. "We hope they will be as pleased as we are that the EU has brought this added clarity to the issue of the safe use of phthalates."

The findings may have larger implications. David Cadogan, director of the European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates, has pointed out in a news release that the risk assessments will be very helpful in relation to the new chemical regulations in Europe. Said Dr. Cadogan: "Once the REACH legislation enters into force, the conclusions of the risk assessments and the body of research that underpin them will be of great assistance to both producers and users of these substances."

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Marian Stanley
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