Will Denmark jump out ahead of the EU and outright ban four phthalates?Yes, according to EurActiv, a great source for EU news and policy information.
On the chopping block:
Of course, the European Union (EU) has already started a process of phasing out phthalates. But Danish Environment Minister Ida Auken told EurActiv in an article published today that the EU process “can take a really long time” and Denmark does not want to wait around.
As an aside Anyone in the US thinks that the EU process of inducting chemicals into a regulation scheme is lightning fast. That is, compared to US federal initiatives in this regard.
It’s all relative.
Phthalates, what it is Often called “plasticizers,” phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals used to make plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible or resilient. They’re also used as solvents. Phthalates are in almost everything that is “bendy.” This includes toys, back-to-school supplies, food packaging, hoses, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, wall coverings, lubricants, adhesives, detergents, nail polish, hair spray (to make the hold ‘flexible’), shampoo and similarly, says the FDA, phthalates turn up in cosmetics.
Phthalates have already been banned in Europe for use in children’s toys. They are regulated in the US in children’s toys, but not banned. Even if Denmark does ban the four phthalates the ban will likely not really be in effect until end-2013. Although, of course, Denmark-related supply chain networks will start to pull back from use sooner than that.
In Spring 2013, the European Commission is due to look deeper into endocrine disruptors, a look that most think will likely lead to more stringent regulation of phthalates. So wouldn’t it make sense to wait for more studies and documentation?
“The Danish Environment Ministry has enough documentation so we feel now is time for action,” Auken reportedly put forth.