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EU Parliament moves to trash dangerous plastic softeners

Press Release

Tuesday 10 Nov 2015

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed today’s majority vote, in the EU Parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee, to reject an EU Commission decision to keep these substances in the production of recycled plastics.

The Commission is competent to decide over some specific and technical matters when implementing EU law, but Parliament has the authority to overrule it.

This case concerns the Commission’s decision to authorise the use of bis (2-ethylhexhyl) phthalate (DEHP) under certain conditions.

Ms. Childers, a full member of the Committee said:

“This substance is classified under EU law as toxic to reproduction, and Member State representatives in the EU Chemicals Agency are unanimous about is endocrine disrupting properties.

“Such hazardous chemicals pose threats to human health and the environment. It makes no sense to allow them to remain present in recycled PVC materials.

“This is a matter of particular concern to the health of workers who would be manipulating these materials.

“I congratulate the vast majority of my fellow Committee colleagues who decided to overrule the view that the economic benefits outweigh the risks to human health.

“We cannot determine what a safe level for endocrine disruptors is, so we must not be making judgements about supposed trade-offs, when the science points to links between pregnant women exposure to this type of phthalate and birth defects in baby boys.

“I hope the majority of MEP colleagues in the full parliament will be validating our rejection when it comes to a plenary vote at the end of the month.”