25 January 2007 22:18 [Source: ICIS news]
NEW YORK (ICIS news)--San Francisco’s governing board eased pending restrictions on phthalate plasticisers this week at the request of the city’s health officials, industry sources said on Thursday.
The original ban, passed in May 2006, restricted the manufacturing and sale of all toys and childcare products containing certain levels of six different phthalates. With the amendments, the ban applies only to products that appear on a list compiled by the city.
In November 2006, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the state Chamber of Commerce, the Toy Industry Association and others filed a lawsuit in federal court to prevent the city from enforcing the ban, which can not take effect until the case is decided.
The hearing, originally scheduled for this month, will likely not be heard until March, parties involved said.
“The suit maintains that because a federal regulatory agency charged with overseeing the safety of children’s toys has already reviewed the primary phthalate used in toys and concluded that it is safe for children, federal law prohibits states and localities from now trying to step in,” said Marian Stanley, manager of the ACC’s Phthalate Esters Panel.
The original restrictions applied to products containing di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), or butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP) in concentrations exceeding 0.1%, and small childcare products intended for children younger than 3 that contain di-isononyl phthalate (DINP), di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP), or dioctyl phthalate (DNOP) in similar concentrations.
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In April 2006, the European Union said two common phthalates - DINP and DIDP - should no longer be classified as hazardous, as they pose no risks to human health of the environment.
Phthalate producers are supporting the panel’s efforts to defeat
“The action is not founded, based on the scientific evidence that has been established, which is why the ACC Phthalate Esters Panel and other industry groups have elected to speak out,” said Elissa Sterry, vice president of Oxo Global Business, ExxonMobil Chemical, which makes DINP and DIDP, among other phthalates.
(Look for the full story on phthalates in the 29 January issue of ICIS Chemical Business Americas.)
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