Sélecteur de langues
Brussels, 5 July 2005
Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen responsible for enterprise and industry policy said: “This decision will put an end to several years of uncertainty during which this issue was debated at length and different national policies emerged. There is now a more stable legal situation which will enable industry to plan in conditions of certainty.”
Markos Kyprianou, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, added: “Europe’s citizens expect all products sold on the EU’s internal market to be safe, but this is particularly the case for toys and childcare products.Toxic chemicals have no place in children’s toys. Our action on phthalates shows that when a risk is identified, the EU can act effectively to protect the health of its children.”
Under the directive, three phthalates, namely DEHP, DBP and BBP, which have been identified as reprotoxic, will be banned in all toys and childcare articles. DINP, DIDP and DNOP, will be banned from use in toys and childcare articles if those articles can be put in the mouth by children.
Phthalates are substances which are used as softeners in plastic materials. Concerns were identified over the potential for adverse effects to the health of children exposed to phthalates and led to Commission Decision 1999/815/EEC under the General Product Safety Directive that temporarily banned the use of six phthalates in toys and childcare articles. Since then, the temporary ban has been prolonged by the Commission on a regular basis. Member States have also implemented national measures banning the use of phthalates in toys. Discussions at the Council led to a decision to wait for the results of a series of comprehensive risk assessments conducted on these phthalates under the Existing Substances Regulation (793/93/EEC). The decision by the European Parliament was prepared following these risk assessments and having regard to the opinions of the scientific committee responsible.