Against all expectations and against the advice of the Government, the French National Assembly adopted in first reading on May 3, 2011 Mr. Yvan Lachaud’s bill to ban the use of phthalates, parabens and alkylphenols.
It is important to underline that this bill is not a law yet. As per parliamentary procedure, the text has to be transmitted to the Senate for possible consideration.
The plasticiser Industry, represented by ECPI, the European Council of Plasticisers and Intermediates, deplores the adoption of this bill and is concerned about a potential blanket ban of these substances, especially phthalates.
Both before and after the vote, and in particular during the preliminary work of parliamentary committees, a majority of government and political stakeholders positioned themselves against such kind of blanket ban.
Phthalates are chemical molecules used primarily to soften PVC to manufacture industrial products and durable consumer goods such as electric cables, roofing membranes, flooring, or synthetic leather.
They are a family of very diverse chemical substances with very different applications and substantially different health and environment classification. Moreover, their use is already regulated by the European REACH regulation since 2007.
The plasticizer industry therefore urges that any changes to the legislation applying to phthalates should be based on the current consensus of national and European regulation.
In trying to replace the existing EU framework relevant to these complex issues, this bill raises more problems than it provides solutions. It is scientifically unjustified and unworkable in practice. Thus, a general ban of these substances and particularly of phthalates is inappropriate and unsuitable.
The industry therefore requests this bill to be rejected.
Sector group manager
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