Swedish tests highlight plastic contaminants

More than 40% of 62 plastic household items tested by Swedish chemicals agency Kemi contained short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) banned under EU law. Many also had high levels of the phthalate DEHP.

Kemi says the 16 items with SCCP at levels above 1,000 parts per million have been removed from the shelves and the names of the products passed onto environmental
prosecutors. They include purses, wallets and mobile phone covers.

The SCCPs found in lower levels could be the result of accidental contamination, according to the agency.
SCCPs are used as plasticisers and flame retardants but are banned under the EU regulation on persistent organic pollutants because of their toxicity to aquatic organisms and ability to persist in the environment.

DEHP, also used as a plasticiser, is banned in toys at concentrations above 0.1% but not in the items tested, although the chemicals agency warns that children might still put them in their mouths. It found levels over 0.1% in around half of the products.
Many had levels a hundred times that.

Several other types of phthalate and some lead salts were also found during the tests.
• Nine new substances
were added to REACH’s annex XIV authorisation list this week, including four
chromium compounds, arsenic acid and technical MDA.

The additions were approved by member state representatives in Brussels in February but they had to undergo a three-month scrutiny period in the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.

Another substances, DMAC, which the European Chemicals Agency had recommended for listing alongside the nine new additions has not been included for the time being because of a restriction being considered for a similar substance.

Excerpted from ENDS Europe Daily