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Danish govt moves to ban phthalates in toys

  Over a week ago, Bill Caroll wrote that "phthalates are not toxic. Period." 
  I posted a long response.  As further grist for the mill, I now pass along the
  news thatlast Thursday the Danish Minister for the Environment has 
  asked his EPA  to initiate a ban on phthalates in toys, which 
  includes other initiatives on  children & chemical exposure 
  Here is the translation of the  Ministry news release:
  Ministry for the Environment and Energy
  27.  November 1997
  Auken wants to forbid hazardous substance in toys
  Danish Minister for the Environment and Energy Svend Auken, today 
  asked the EPA to work out a proposal for a ban on toys for smaller 
  children containing phthalates. Concurrently he has asked the EPA to 
  make a report/review showing how children can be protected better 
  against chemicals. 
  The EPA has earlier this year - at two occasions - analysed teethers 
  for migration of different softeners- the so called phthalates. The 
  analyses showed that several of the teethers released phthalates at 
  unacceptable levels. The retailers withdrew the teethers from the 
  "We live in a society, where large amounts of chemicals are 
  used which also affects our children. They are more vulnerable and 
  are in contact with the products in another way than adults. 
  Therefore the security of  the products harmlessness to children must 
  be extra big" says Danish Minister for the Environment and Energy, 
  Svend Auken 
  " I have therefore asked the EPA to make a report/review 
  on the need and possibilities to increase the protection of children 
  against chemicals. His could for example be increased control of 
  toys, limits for pollution in soil, , quality demands for swimming 
  pools, chemicals substances in clothes, wood preservatives for 
  sandpits and contents of chemicals in hygiene products and cosmetics 
  for children. The review will be co-ordinated with other ministries 
  "When it comes to phthalates in toys for smaller children, I will 
  already now ask the EPA to prepare a law proposal for a ban. Ever 
  since the problem with the phthalates showed up, the industry has 
  made enormous efforts on trying to dismiss all problems instead of 
  developing more health- and environmentally friendly materials. It is 
  time to act." 
  In January 1998 Svend Auken will present a number of concrete 
  initiatives to reduce and phase out the use of phthalates on other 
  Further information
  Assistant Director, EPA, Niels Juul Jensen (+45 32660156)
  Heaf of office, EPA, Lisbet Seedorf (+45 32660280)
  -- End --
  Charlie Cray
  Greenpeace US Toxics Campaign
  847 W. Jackson Blvd., 7th floor
  Chicago, IL 60607
  Ph: (312) 563-6063
  Fax: (312) 563-6099
  Note new e-mail address: Charlie.Cray@dialb.greenpeace.org