|Author (Person)||Cordes, Renée|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.4, No.32, 10.9.98, p3|
|Content Type||Journal | Series | Blog|
A STUDY into the possible health risks posed by PVC baby toys, due out next week, is unlikely to provide Consumer Affairs Commissioner Emma Bonino with enough evidence to renew her call for an EU-wide ban on some products.
A Commission official predicted this week that the study by Dutch health authorities and toy industry representatives to test whether some toys containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are toxic would not be conclusive. "I am pretty sure that some further work will be necessary," he added.
Sources stress, however, that until the study is completed, Bonino is not ready to shelve her plans for restrictions. "Certainly if there is new evidence that more urgent and stringent measures should be taken, I think the Commission should reopen the case," said one.
Bonino originally wanted to prohibit the sale of toys such as teething rings and dummies believed to contain high levels of toxic softening agents known as 'phthalates', which have been found to cause cancer and sterility when ingested in large quantities.
But she was forced to delay action after a majority of Commissioners voted against it in June.
Representatives from the toy industry have repeatedly argued that evidence available so far on soft PVC in toys is not reliable and that a ban would be inappropriate.
The Dutch study, which was originally due to be released at the beginning of this month, was commissioned in response to calls from critics of Bonino's proposals such as Industry Commissioner Martin Bangemann.
An EU scientific committee is due to discuss the research at a meeting in Brussels next Tuesday (15 September) although officials have not yet received the preliminary results. Austria, Sweden and Denmark have already announced plans to ban some toys containing phthalates.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry|