Denmark has stepped back from introducing a unilateral ban on phthalates (DEHP, DBP, DIBP and BBP) under pressure from the European Commission.
The proposed prohibition was initially triggered by research that suggested that the additives have endocrine disrupting properties. And although the European Union has acknowledged these side-effects it has not issued a blanket ban on their use.
The Danish ban, which was originally proposed in 2012, was finally due to come into force next year but will now be repealed.
“[European Union] rules should not prevent individual member states from protecting their citizens,” the country's former environment minister, Ida Auken, told local media.
Denmark had already postponed the ban once — in 2013 due to the complexities of the measure. The country's environment ministry discovered that the use of phthalates in products such as vinyl floor tiles, cables and wires was more widespread than it had anticipated. It concluded that manufacturers and retailers required more time to comply.