Denmark responds to ECHA committee’s dismissal of phthalate proposal

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has released a statement in response to the draft opinions adopted by ECHA Committees that the country’s proposal to restrict four classified phthalates in consumer articles is not justified. The EPA has reiterated that it disagrees with the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) reasoning that current regulation will reduce the use of phthalates in consumer articles. “We have performed calculations showing that there may be a risk to the consumer that uses products that contain phthalates, and the products can still be found on the market, and we have studies of urine from children and adults between 2007 and 2008 showing a risk,” said Shima Dobel from the Danish EPA. The agency says it is too unsafe to assume that consumption will fall because there will be a system of approval for the use of the four phthalates in the EU. In particular, this is because products containing phthalates will continue to be imported from non-EU countries that are not subject to the restrictions, it says. However, the EPA states it is pleased that the RAC recognises the combined effects principle, meaning it might be possible to make a prohibition based on the combined effect of substances that have the same mechanism of action. The conclusion is extremely important in our continuing efforts to protect consumers in relation to our future ability to create EU-wide ban, the agency says. The EPA is continuing to prepare a national ban on the four phthalates. Further information is available at: EPA press release (in Danish)

Chemical Watch, 6 July 2012 ; ;