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The European Commission has notified the WTO of a draft Regulation replacing entry 51 to Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 19072006 (REACH), restricting the use of four phthalates.

The amendment would specifically prohibit the use of diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) as a substance or in a mixture, not to exceed 0.1% by weight of the substance in toys or child care articles.

In addition, it will prohibit the placing on the market in articles of any of the listed four phthalates: (bis(2‑ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), in a concentration that is equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight in any plasticised material in the article.

The proposal states that the objective is to reduce exposure to DEHP, DBP, BBP, DIBP phthalates present in articles via direct and prolonged dermal contact, direct contact with mucosa membranes, ingestion or inhalation.

The proposed date of adoption is the second half of 2018 with a proposed date of entry into force 20 days from the publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Application of the restriction would be deferred for 18 months after the entry into force.