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  6. Phthalates
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Phthalates in Consumer Goods
Phthalates are industrial chemicals which are produced on a large scale. Annually, approximately 4 million tons are produced, thereof 90 % are used as plasticisers for plastic. Plasticisers render plastic soft, flexible and durable. PVC for example contains up to 40% phthalates. Additionally, plasticisers are used as stabilisers and carrier substances.

Today plasticisers are contained in a variety of consumer and commodity goods like

  • · toys
  • · textiles
  • · packaging
  • · cosmetics
  • · lubricants
  • · nonwoven
  • · pigments and dyes
  • · medical products

Phthalates used as an additive may migrate from the product or be dissolved and are thus released into the environment. Numerous studies have investigated the impact of phthalates on health, such as cancer, for example. Additionally, hormone-like properties are attributed to some phthalates. Some phthalates are therefore listed as substances of very high concern (SVHC) by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Legislation
Certain phthalates were already banned with EU commission decision 1999/815 in baby articles and toys. Maximum limits for phthalates in toys and baby articles were defined in EU directive 2005/84 and further studies for the assessment of these substances were called for. This is implemented in the national consumer goods regulation. Additionally, in Europe the use of phthalates in consumer goods like toys is regulated in REACH. For cosmetics the directive 76/768/EEC is implemented in the Cosmetics Regulation. Since 2013 the harmonised EU directive 1223/2009 applies to cosmetic products.

In 2003 the Japanese government has banned DINP and DEHP in toys and baby articles. In the USA the Californian Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) has described DEHP as carcinogenic and toxic to reproduction and has defined a NRSL (no significant risk level) of 300 µg/day.

Risk Management
Consumer protection organisations like to focus on phthalates. They analyse consumer and commodity goods and thus encourage the awareness of consumers for the topic phthalates. The decision to buy a product is influenced by the quality of the product. Phthalates definitely downgrade the quality of your products. Use our broad experience as an international reference laboratory for phthalate testing. With our certified analyses you will gain safety for your products.