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PVC Industry Acting Up
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: PVC Industry Acting Up
- From: "Charlie Cray" <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 11:01:21 +0000
- Comments: Authenticated sender is <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Organization: Greenpeace
- Priority: normal
CHEMICAL COMPANIES SUE GREENPEACE ROME, Italy, December 16,
1997 (ENS) -Solvay and European Vinyls Corporation, two giant
chemical corporations have accused Greenpeace of slander,
boycott and economic damage. On Monday the companies filed suit
for 45 thousand million Lire (US$27 million) damage
compensation. The lawsuit is an attempt to prevent Greenpeace
from carrying on its international campaign against PVC in toys
what are soft. Greenpeace claims that the PVC leaches out of the
toys when children suck on them, and the children ingest harmful
polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Despite the industry action, Monday morning bright and early,
Father Christmas accompanied by ten Greenpeace activists entered
the Ministry of Health carrying boxes full of PVC toys and
singing Jingle Bells. Four other activists climbed on the
balcony of the building and displayed an Italian and English
banner reading "Bindi (the Minister of Health): Stop PVC toys!"
The demonstration came as a result of the Italian government not
taking action to ban soft PVC toys.
Last September, Greenpeace released a report showing that soft
PVC toys for children, such as teethers, contain up to 40% by
weight of softening chemical additives known as phthalates.
Laboratory tests conducted on animals show that phthalates are
toxic, with health effects ranging from liver and kidney damage
to reproductive abnormalities.
The softeners contained in PVC toys are not totally bound to the
plastic. When children suck and chew on soft PVC toys, these
hazardous chemicals can leach out. The migration of phthalates
from toys is also supported by the results of recent analyses
conducted by independent laboratories in Germany and in the
Czech Republic, and published by Greenpeace Friday.
The results from the German labs showed that of the 23 PVC toys
tested, 12 of them were leaching chemical additives at levels 5
to 6 times the recommended limits set by German official
authorities. A one year old baby of 10 kg would receive an
intake dose which is 13 to 30 times the daily intake limit set
by the European Union.
Among the toys tested were several manufactured by Mattel and
other companies owned by Mattel - Tyco and Fisher Price - and
purchased in Germany, many from the giant toy retailer Toys `R
Us. The products tested include Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet
and Sesame Street characters as well as Donald Duck, Daisy Duck
and Pluto Disney figures.
"These tests reconfirm earlier tests by the Danish, Austrian and
Dutch governments that PVC toys leach hazardous additives," said
Lisa Finaldi, Greenpeace toxics campaigner. "It is
unconscionable that these products are still being sold,
especially for small children. Manufacturers, retailers and
governments must all take immediate responsibility to ban PVC
toys from sale to protect children's health."
Two weeks ago the Danish Government was instructed by the
Ministry of Environment and Energy to prepare an action
programme to eliminate hazardous softeners in PVC toys. This was
prompted by tests conducted last summer in Denmark on soft PVC
toys from an Italian Toy Manufacturer, Chicco. But so far,
Italian authorities have taken no action to eliminate PVC in
Greenpeace contacted major producers and retailers in Italy,
asking them to withdraw these hazardous toys. Only three
companies have taken action: Giochi Preziosi, IKEA and Lego.
However other retailers in Europe have withdrawn soft PVC toys
for children under three including the Belgian Retail
Federation, and major retailers in Netherlands, Germany, and
"Our children's health is at risk, stated Fabrizio Fabbri of
Greenpeace. These toys should not be on sale. We will continue
to alert the public about the risks of these toys until the
government finally acts, even though we face a financial threat
from the vinyl corporations."