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REACH: More Stringent Rules for Phthalates

Phthalates are ever-present as plasticizers in plastic materials, cosmetics, medication, or toys. They can, for example, be absorbed through food and by inhaling air and dust indoors or also enter the bloodstream directly via the skin. In order to rule out risks to human health, the use of phthalates shall be further restricted.

Back in April 2018, we reported on a draft to amend the REACH Chemical Regulation with respect to phthalates in consumer products. This draft has now been adopted by the Commission and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 18 December 2018.

It contains regulatory content for the handling of phthalates bis(2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), which are classified as toxic to reproduction. Just like the phthalates DEHP, DBP, and BBP for plasticized material in toys and baby products, DIBP is also being included in Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation.

Consumer products, which contain plasticized materials, will also be covered by Entry 51 in this Annex now. As of July 7 2020, both toys, baby products, and consumer products containing DEHP, DBP, BBP, and DIBP in concentrations of 0.1 per cent – individually or in total – must no longer be distributed. “Plasticized materials” are defined in greater detail (examples: PVC, PVA, and other polymers, except for polyolefins; rubber, except for silicon rubber; foams; coatings; printing inks). Furthermore, a number of exceptions apply, for example, to materials and items in contact with food, medical equipment or electric and electronic devices.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your respective sales representative in the sales department or our customer competence center at the phone number +4940600202777 or by e-mail.