Denmark's proposal to restrict the use of four lower molecular weight phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP and DIBP) in certain consumer articles has been found to be not justified by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC).

Denmark had proposed a ban on the use of these four plasticisers in articles used indoors or that come into contact with the skin.  However, after a six-month public consultation period, the RAC has concluded that there is currently no risk from exposure to these four phthalates. In addition, the RAC is of the opinion that existing regulatory measures will lead to a further reduction in exposure. The RAC therefore concluded that the Danish Restriction Proposal is not justified.

ECHA´s Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) noted a steady decline in the use of these phthalates over the last decade. This trend is expected to continue, and the authorisation requirement for the four phthalates is expected to further impact this downward trend.

SEAC concluded that there is therefore no basis to form an opinion. The full draft opinion of SEAC has not yet been published but is expected shortly. Once published, a 60-day public consultation period begins. The SEAC must submit their final opinion to the Commission by mid-December 2012 at the latest. The Commission will then commence the formal decision-making process.

ECPI’s LMW (lower molecular weight) group of manufacturers, who produce some of the classified phthalates targeted in the Danish Restriction Proposal of 2011, are pleased with the finding that this proposal is not justified. It is encouraging that solid scientific data and the independent expert opinion of these committees have delivered this result.

Please see full statement on the ECHA website.