Why DINP belongs on the SIN List
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Why DINP belongs on the SIN List

The plasticiser diisononyl phthalate, DINP, was added to the SIN List back in 2008. It is one of a few chemicals that ChemSec has received requests to remove.

In spring 2018 the substance was under discussion by the ECHA risk assessment committee (RAC), which brought up the issue of its SIN List status again. Denmark had proposed a harmonised classification for DINP as a reprotoxic 1B substance.

The committee however concluded against Denmark’s proposal, and DINP was not given this classification. However, we have not found reasons to remove DINP from the SIN List.

DINP was placed on the SIN List in 2008 because “reprotoxic effects and effects on development have been reported and it is a suspected endocrine disruptor”.

This conclusion was drawn following scientific review based on the officially available peer-reviewed data that had been published by 2008, and we therefore concluded it to be a substance of “equivalent level of concern”. The criteria for this category are not the same as for an official classification as toxic to reproduction.

From ChemSec’s point of view the scientific evidence – now also strengthened by some of the newer studies referred to in the classification dossier – clearly show that this is a substance causing adverse effects though an endocrine mode of action.

“We have not found reasons to remove DINP from the SIN List”

The adverse effects include impaired growth and development, especially of male reproductive organs. In other words, we are confident that it should be kept on the SIN List as an endocrine-disrupting chemical.

The use of DINP is restricted in toys and childcare articles. In 2014, after having re-evaluated the restriction, the EU Commission concluded: “a risk from the mouthing of toys and childcare articles with DINP cannot be excluded if the existing restriction was lifted”.

DINP is a common substitute for the well-known problematic phthalate DEHP, which was one of the first chemicals to be assigned a so-called “sunset date” in REACH. For this reason its use has increased considerably in recent years. DINP is also commonly found in PVC, which can be an issue for recycling.

In theory, of course, if new evidence trumps the existing knowledge about the hazardous properties of a chemical, or if the SVHC criteria change, this could be reason to remove a substance from the SIN List. However, we have not to date had reason to remove any substance from the SIN List. New data has a tendency to strengthen the conclusion of concern rather than the opposite.