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HEAL welcomes EP Committee vote on DEHP

The EU Parliament’s Environment and Health Committee recently voted to support an objection to the Commission’s proposal to continue the use of the phthalate, DEHP, a reproductive toxicant and EDC, in recycled materials such as PVC. DEPH is already officially listed as an EDC for the environment and it may be linked to male infertility due to environmental exposure of pregnant women.

If the application for authorisation is approved by the EU, it would mean continued wider public exposure to this chemical, which is already banned in toys and childcare articles. Ahead of the vote, HEAL called on members of the Environment Committee to support the draft resolution by MEPs Pavel Poc, Kateřina Konečná, and Bas Eickhout which lists a range of objections and concerns about the proposed approval of that use of the chemical.

The applications are for the formulation of recycled soft PVC containing DEHP in compounds and dry-blends, and the industrial use of recycled soft PVC containing DEHP in polymer processing to produce PVC articles.

The objection text points out that the companies applying for the authorisation are not addressing the health risks to workers of DEHP exposure. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) committees noted that they did not demonstrate that the risks to workers’ health are adequately controlled, and there were significant deficiencies in their socio-economic analysis including the lack of health impact assessment identifying the remaining risk to workers’ health. One of the committees was unable to provide numbers on whether continued use was proportionally more risky to society than the benefits arising from that continued use because information on the remaining risks to workers health could not be quantified.

Safer alternatives

There are safer alternatives for the DEHP in soft recycled PVC and recycling should not be a reason to keep using these chemicals in everyday consumer articles (artificial Christmas trees, textiles, furniture, shoes, building materials, etc.) Globally gynaecologists and obstetricians are calling for policies to reduce people’s exposure to toxic chemicals.

HEAL and its members will be urging all European Parliamentarians to support this objection to authorisation of DEHP when it votes during the 23-25 November plenary session.

Useful resources

Originally posted on 23 November 2015

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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