Plasticisers

The European plasticisers market continues to reflect regulatory changes. The market share of High Molecular Weight Ortho-phthalates and other plasticisers is growing rapidly as they replace DEHP.
Shifting to HMW Phthalates and other plasticisers

Studies and Research
An epidemiology study, commissioned by ECPI and carried out by Maastricht University, was completed and submitted for publication. The study examined the reliability of scientific papers that report an association between phthalate exposure and health effects such as obesity, asthma and reduced fertility.

The LCA study on DINP, commissioned by ECPI and finalised by the consultancy PE INTERNATIONAL in 2014, was validated by Denkstatt in 2015. The LCA and the DINP eco-profile have been published and are available for use by the supply chain.

In 2015, ECPI worked with renowned independent consultants to develop a Weight of Evidence methodology (WoE, a quantitative method for combining evidence in support of a hypothesis) to assess the classification and labelling of DINP, DCHP and DnHP. Key conclusions show that DINP does not warrant any classification.

REACH Authorisation
In September 2014, ECHA's Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) expressed their support for authorising companies that applied for Authorisation to continue to use DEHP in both virgin and recycled PVC and DBP in specific applications.

Despite a thorough evaluation and favourable opinions from the RAC and SEAC, in November 2015 the EU Parliament adopted a motion opposing the Commission’s proposal to authorise recycling of soft PVC containing DEHP. A final decision should be taken by the European Commission.

National Regulatory Updates
The evaluation and Risk Management Option Analysis (RMOA) conducted by the French authorities on DINCH and DOTP concluded that no danger or risk is identified under REACH; therefore, no additional risk management measures are needed.

In 2014, the European Commission and Member States endorsed a four-year re-evaluation showing no risk for DINP and DIDP in all current consumer applications (a restriction is maintained on toys and childcare articles that can be put in the mouth. For further information: ‘Evaluation of new scientific evidence concerning DINP and DIDP’). In spite of this, Denmark in 2015 communicated to ECHA its intention to submit a dossier proposing that DINP be classified as a reproductive agent under the CLP Regulation. The plasticisers industry will participate in a public consultation expected in 2016, bringing robust scientific evidence to support the conclusion that such classification is not justified.

In August 2015, the Swedish Chemicals Agency submitted a dossier proposing that DCHP be identified as a substance of very high concern (SVHC). The dossier was subsequently withdrawn, but is expected to be re-submitted in 2016.