Published on 25 Jan 2019

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) stated that the phthalate DEHP should be identified as an endocrine disruptor (EDC) for the environment in a ruling on January 23.

Five years ago, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), together with the Member State Committee (MSC), decided to identify DEHP as an endocrine disruptor for the environment after a proposal from Denmark.

This led Czech manufacturer Deza to take legal action against ECHA, challenging the decision.

Deza disputed the classification because the substance was already defined as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) and added to the REACH Candidate List in 2008 due to its reprotoxic potential.

“ECHA did not err in its conclusion and the agency did not commit any procedural breaches”

Two years ago, the European Court of Justice dismissed the legal action taken by the Czech manufacturer, saying that ECHA did not err in its conclusion and that the agency had not committed any procedural breaches in its decision.

Deza put in an appeal against the decision of the European Court of Justice, arguing that the court had, among other things, committed an error in law in interpreting and applying the REACH regulation, misinterpreted and misapplied the principle of legal certainty and infringed on Deza’s fundamental rights.

“The European Court of Justice decided to uphold its conclusion from 2017”

In the ruling two days ago, the European Court of Justice, however, decided to uphold its conclusion from 2017, saying that some of the claims from the Czech manufacturer were “unfounded”, “ineffective” and “inadmissible”.

DEHP, together with three other phthalates (BBP, DBP and DiBP), are on the Candidate List due to their endocrine-disrupting properties for humans. Of the four, DEHP is the only one which is also on the list for its potential harm to the environment.

Last December, the European Commission adopted a decision to restrict the use of the four phthalates in consumer products on the EU market. The restriction will take effect from July 8, 2020.