Threat of EC ban on phthalates in toys recedes, but Directive looms

The threat of immediate EC restrictions on the sale of soft PVC toys has faded after Consumer Affairs Commissioner Emma Bonino failed to win support for the move from her colleagues in May. But European Commissioners have agreed to prepare a Directive on the use of phthalate plasticisers in PVC products after a scientific committee concluded that there was "reason for concern" about the effects of the compound most widely used in soft PVC toys on children's health.

The controversy over the risks posed by phthalate migration from soft PVC toys or teethers likely to be sucked or chewed by young children has been running since last summer. Retailers in Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany received official requests to withdraw such products following phthalate migration tests (ENDS Report 272, pp 24-28 

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