The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the ECHA have jointly proposed a restriction of four phthalates: Diisobutylphthalate (DIBP), Dibutylphthalate DBP, Benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP), and Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP). They should not exceed 0.1% of products that might come into contact with the skin or mucous membranes. The recommendation arises from the large quantity of plastic products on the market that are imported into the EU from non-EU countries, some of which contain high concentrations of these phthalates. Products that end up in the hands of small children who then place them in their mouths are particularly critical.
Nevertheless, the road to a final restriction is long. First, the leaders of the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) and the Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) must evaluate the restriction dossiers and issue an opinion. A final decision is expected in September. If the committees approve the request, the opinion will be published and directed to the EU Commission along with the dossier. Ultimately, the EU Commission must make a decision on a restriction based on the documents submitted to it.
DIBP, DBP, BBP, and DEHP count among phthalates with a low molecular weight. All four substances are toxic for reproduction, have been identified as substances of very high concern (SVHC), and entered into Annex XIV of EG Regulation No. 1907/2006. As of February 21, 2015, these substances can be used or placed on the market only for a limited time with an exemption. The proposed restriction should further limit the use and application of the phthalates in plastic products.
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