[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

PVC Industry Acting Up

  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."