ECPI questions scientific basis of surprising proposal by Denmark for harmonised classification and labelling of DINP

Brussels 16, February - Denmark has recently communicated to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) its intention to submit a dossier for the harmonised classification and labelling (CLH) of di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) as toxic to reproduction - Category 1B (Development) and Category 2 (Fertility). This is a classification proposal under the CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging) regulation and the dossier has to be submitted before a public consultation and review process can start. However, regardless the issue mentioned above, DINP can continue to be safely used in all current applications, as was confirmed by the re-evaluation conducted by ECHA, the European Commission and Member States in January 2014 (“no further risks identified”).

“The European Council of Plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI) was surprised to see the notification shortly after the finalization of the 4 years re-evaluation of DINP in 2014 where ECHA documented an in-depth assessment of the available information on the human health hazard and consumer exposure” commented ECPI’s manager, Stephane Content. ECHA concluded that, although the existing restriction on toys and childcare articles which can be placed in the mouth is to be maintained (REACH Annex XVII, entry 52), no further risks were identified for any other applications. These conclusions were endorsed by the European Commission and Member States via CARACAL - including Denmark.

It is to be noted that over the last two decades, DINP has become the major plasticiser in the European Union and one of the main alternatives to classified phthalates such as DEHP which is now undergoing REACH Authorisation. DINP is a critical raw material for the European Union vinyl industry value chain which comprises 21,000, mainly SME companies and 500,000 direct and indirect employees.  “Regulatory certainty based on science is necessary to support the European industries in their efforts towards sustainable innovation and progress. If the dossier on Classification and Labelling is submitted, ECPI will be ready to contribute to the public consultation with all its scientific knowledge and expertise” added S. Content.