Danes propose restrictions on certain phthalates

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Denmark’s Environmental Protection Agency is calling for the restriction of four phthalates under REACH (the European Union’s precautionary chemical regulation protocol). The agency claims that the chemicals should be banned in products intended for indoor use as well as those that come into contact with skin or mucous membranes because they are reproductive toxins. By inference, they declined to call for restrictions on four other phthalate plasticizers.

Operating under the precautionary principle, ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross notes that Denmark administers one of the more aggressive anti-chemical regulatory bodies in Europe. In their new proposed ban, Danish regulatory officials are trying to make a distinction between high and low-molecular weight phthalates, but “ACSH has conducted exhaustive analyses of the toxicology and epidemiology data on phthalates and has yet to find that trace levels of the substances, as found in consumer and medical products, pose a threat to health,” Dr. Ross reiterates. “That being said, I find it a small sign of progress that the Danish EPA at least concedes that several phthalates are of no concern to public health.”