Because plasticisers (US: plasticizers) are so widely used, they have undergone extensive testing for possible health and environmental effects and are among the most widely researched of all chemical substances. In Europe, the safe use of plasticisers is enabled by REACH, the most comprehensive product safety regulation anywhere in the world.
Since the implementation of REACH in 2007, approximately 50 plasticisers (US: plasticizers) have been registered. Consumers can benefit from the use of plasticisers in flexible PVC applications, and at the same time be reassured of the high level of safety of the products they are using.
Very often, in media and public debates, research studies are presented as showing potential links between plasticisers (US: plasticizers) and health or environmental concerns. However, in most cases, these studies are specifically focused on low molecular weight orthophthalates and their metabolites. At the same time, results showing correlation tend to be misinterpreted as causation, which leads to unfounded alarmism and scaremongering.
Claiming that all plasticisers (US: plasticizers), or a particular type of plasticisers, have negative effects just based on the analysis of one molecule would be like saying that all cholesterol is bad. Generalisations, although frequently used to make a concept more easily understood, can be misleading when talking about complex scientific issues and should therefore be avoided.