EU bans toxic toy chemicals

July 5, 2005 at 9:51 AM
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BRUSSELS, July 5 (UPI) -- The European Parliament Tuesday voted to ban the use of potentially hazardous plastic softeners in children's toys.

After eight years of debate, EU parliamentarians voted for a total ban on three phthalates -- plastic softeners -- in all toys and to outlaw a further three in toys that can be put in the mouth. While there is uncertainty about the full risk of placing PVC toys in children's mouths, EU legislators evoked the "precautionary principle" to justify the move.

"Toys are meant to be fun and safe -- but soft PVC toys full of hazardous substances are neither fun nor safe," said Welsh member Jill Evans. "I am relieved that dangerous softeners in kids' toys will now be banned."

The European Commission also welcomed the move, which was strongly resisted by the toy industry.

"Toxic chemicals have no place in children's toys," said European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection Markos Kyprianou.

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