The EU Commission took action Wednesday to restrict the placing on the market of articles containing four phthalates found in a wide variety of everyday plastic products, from toys to sport equipment.
The four phthalates are DEHP, DBP, BBP and DIBP. Consumers can be exposed to one of these phthalates or to their combination through different sources, such as ingesting food and dust, placing articles in the mouth, breathing in air and dust indoors, and by dust and articles getting in contact with mucous membranes and skin.
Phthalates are substances of high concern known for their toxic effects on reproductive health.According to the proposed restriction presented in the REACH Committee, the four phthalates may not be present in articles used by consumers or available in indoor areas in a concentration equal to or above 0.1% by weight individually or in any combination in any plasticised material.
The restriction proposal takes into account the cumulative effects and combined exposure to the 4 phthalates from different articles.
The REACH Committee, composed of experts from all Member States, supported the proposed measure by unanimity.
The European Parliament and the Council now have 3 months to scrutinise the measure before its adoption by the Commission.
The restriction will then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will apply 18 months after the entry into force to products produced both in and outside of the EU.