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Phthalate alternative recognized by ECHA

Dibenzoate has been named as an alternative to phthalate plasticizers by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), providing a boost to Genovique Specialties Corp. (Rosemont, IL), which markets dibenzoate-based Benzoflex plasticizer to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

(Rosemont, IL), which markets dibenzoate-based Benzoflex plasticizer to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Genovique says the ECHA report calculated the Derived No Effect Levels (DNEL) for the butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) alternatives to assess human health effects, concluding that dipropylene glycol dibenzoate (DGD), marketed as Benzoflex 9-88, was more favorable than the other BBP alternative chemistries examined. The dibenzoate plasticizers are also discussed by ECHA as alternatives chemistries to dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP).

ECHA manages the pan-European chemical oversight program: Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) to ensure consistency across the European Union. The monitoring body recently commissioned technical reports to define alternatives to phthalate plasticizers on its Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) list, with products on that list possibly subject to authorization by the ECHA. This could force companies in the European Union to find a substitute or pay a significant penalty.

On March 21, PVC compounder Teknor Apex (Pawtucket, RI) announced a range of vinyl compounds made flexible with alternatives to phthalate plasticizers. Compounder and distributor PolyOne (Avon Lake, OH) also launched a line of non-phthalate and CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Information Administration) approved Flexible Vinyl Compounds under the Geon tradename.

As part of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act, former U.S. President George Bush signed a ban on six phthalates in August 2008. Those six had been banned in certain products in Europe going back to 2005, when the European Parliament barred them from children’s toys on July 6, 2005. [email protected]

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