The REACH Committee of the EU Commission agreed on July 11 to advance a proposal that would restrict the presence of four phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP, DIBP) in products placed on the market. The proposed restriction would limit the amount of these common plasticizers, individually or in any combination, to a concentration below 0.1% by weight.

According to the Commission, consumers can be exposed to phthalates through a variety of sources, including ingesting food and dust, placing articles in the mouth, breathing in air and dust indoors, and by dust and articles getting in contact with mucous membranes and skin. The phthalates previously were identified under REACH as substances of very high concern (SVHC) based on reproductive toxicity and endocrine disrupting effects.

The European Parliament and the Council now have 3 months to review the measure before it goes back to the Commission for final adoption. The restriction will then be published in the EU Official Journal and will apply 18 months after entry into force to products produced both in and outside of the EU.