News 2017 / February

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Historical EU vote recognises four chemicals as hormone disrupting for humans

Yesterday the EU member states of the REACH committee voted in favour of recognising four phthalates as hormone disrupting for humans. The historical vote is the first time ever that chemicals has been recorded as endocrine disrupting (EDCs) for humans on the EU Candidate List of SVHCs.

“The EDC criteria discussion has been a long and painful and somewhat of a never-ending story. Therefore we are very pleased with this concrete step in the right direction”, says ChemSec Policy Advisor Frida Hök.

The vote is the culmination of a Danish initiative. The Danish EPA documented the health risks of the phthalates in a study already in 2009 and has been continuously pushing for a ban since many years back. In 2016 Denmark in cooperation with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) made a proposal to completely ban the use of the four phthalates in products used indoors, or products with which consumers can get in contact with. It is expected that ECHA Committees will rule on the proposal in the summer of 2017 after which the Commission is to submit it to a vote in the REACH Committee, the Danish EPA writes.

The phthalates in question, DEHP, DBP, DIBP and BBP, are used as plasticisers in various plastic products.

ChemSec has worked with identifying EDCs for many years and already in 2011 ChemSec added substances to the SIN List based solely on their hormone disrupting properties. Today the SIN List contains 32 substances identified by ChemSec as EDCs, making it the most comprehensive list of EDCs available.