In an article published on February 17, 2017 the non-profit organization International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) informs that the EU Member States of the REACH Committee have agreed to recognize four phthalates as substances of very high concern (SVHCs) due to their endocrine disrupting properties and consequent effects on human health. The REACH Committee voted on the proposal to identify diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP, CAS 84-69-5), dibutyl phthalate (DBP, CAS 84-74-2), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP, CAS 85-68-7), and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) as human endocrine disruptors during its current meeting of February 16-17, 2017 (FPF reported). “The historical vote is the first time ever that chemicals have been recorded as endocrine disrupting . . . for humans on the EU Candidate List of SVHCs,” ChemSec states.

ChemSec further explains that the proposal and vote are “the culmination of a Danish initiative.” Denmark, in cooperation with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), also made a proposal to completely ban the use of DEHP, DBP, BBP, and DIBP in products used indoors, or products with which consumers can get in contact with. ECHA Committees are expected to rule on the proposal in summer 2017, after which the European Commission is to submit it to a vote in the REACH Committee, ChemSec reports.

DEHP, DBP, and BBP are included as additives in the Union List of substances authorized for use in plastic food contact materials (FCMs) (Annex I of Regulation (EU) No 10/2011), in the ESCO working group list of non-plastic FCMs, as well as in the FACET inventory of FCMs. DIBP is included in the ESCO and FACET lists.

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ChemSec (February 17, 2017). “Historical EU vote recognizes four chemicals as hormone disrupting for humans.

Danish Environmental Protection Agency (February 16, 2017). “Historisk sejr: EU stempler fire stoffer som hormonforstyrrende.(in Danish)

Health and Environment Alliance (February 17, 2017). “Europe finally recognises four phthalates as human endocrine disruptors.

Luke Buxton (February 21, 2017). “EU member states agree four phthalates are EDCs for health.Chemical Watch

Anna Lennquist (February 22, 2017). “Why last week’s EDC vote was a huge step forward.” ChemSec

Miriaj Meister (March 2, 2017). “DTU share in EU recognition of four chemicals as endocrine disruptors.DTU Food