EU countries have voted yes to prohibition of plasticizing phthalates in goods

EU members have voted by a vote in the EU Reach Committee today, by proposing a proposal from the EU Commission to ban four phthalates - so-called plasticizers, in goods. The exact date for the prohibition to commence is not yet determined, but it will be in mid 2020.

The phthalates covered are usually denoted by DEHP , BBP , DBP  and DIBP. The proposal from the EU Commission means that softened parts of goods may not contain these phthalates if the content exceeds a 0.1% weight limit. The limit value applies both as an individual subject and to the sum of all four phthalates.

The phthalates are used as plastic plasticizers. It is most common for PVC plastic to be softened to achieve the desired function. The most common substance in this group is phthalate DEHP, which can affect the balance of certain hormones in the body and damage the reproductive ability.

There is already a Reach limitation for three of the phthalates in toys and childcare products. This limitation is extended to include phthalate DIBP.

The new part of the restriction applies to soft-molded parts in goods with a few exceptions. The exceptions apply to industrial use or to agriculture in outdoor and non-prolonged contact with skin or mucous membranes. Another exception applies to measuring instruments. In order to avoid double regulation, such uses are already excluded from REACH or other legislation. Some parts for cars and aircraft are given longer for adaptation to the new rules and will begin 2023. 

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