Because we have no more access to the list, we have to use alternative ways
to send this reply to the message of Charlie Cray.
At this moment, only two phtalates are under suspicion to have WEAK
oestrogenic properties, dibutylphtalate (DBP) and butylbenzylphtalate
(BBP). Both are mainly used in printing inks on plastics like polypropylene
(PP) and on cardboard packaging. For Greenpeace no reason to ask for a ban
on PP or cardboard.
For PVC in food applications, practically no phtalates are used, but adipates.
The phtalate used in soft PVC for non-food applications, DEHP, is NOT a
hormone disruptor, it is scrupulous tested in hundreds of assays, because
of its use in medical supplies. No such effects were seen in animals. It is
for the medical commission of the EG declared not to be toxic and not a
But because of concerns of countries like Sweden and Denmark (for
ecopolitical reasons), it will again be tested for the EG by Norwegian and
DEHP may be found in nature, because it is so widely used, but you will
find very very low amounts. It is not because you can find anything anywere
with the possibilities of the todays analytical techniques, that it is
DEHP is readibly bio-degradable, it has a half-life time of only 18 days in
normal soil conditions. In composting conditions at elevated temperatures
it will decompose even much faster.
Greenpeace again makes a lot of noice from nothing, to harm their real
target: PVC, that they want to have out of the world for reasons they only
know themselves, but which have nothing to do with science, knowledge or
ecology. IF phtalates are posing problems, they should be phased out, not
PVC. IF phtalates are problematic, PVC formulators will have to use
The (minimal) scare on phtalates in babyfood in the UK was indeed started
by... Greenpeace. The amounts found for the two suspected phtalates were
far below the concentrations causing any effect (and the effect IS dose
dependent, even if timing is very important).
So UK AND EG specialists have declared the phtalates found in UK babyfood
to be harmless.
The Danish researcher, Niels Skakebaek, who has found a decline in sperm
counts in Denmark, has explicitely warned against the Greenpeace claims
that this was due to man-made chemicals.
And by the way, one found a lot of different phtalates in babyfood, some of
them are not even made by any factory in the world. Never heard about
natural phtalates? Never heard about the enormous amount of natural hormone
mimics we ingest with our food? IF there is any effect of hormone mimics on
our reproducibility, it will be because of natural ones like those found in
soya (genistein), we ingest in thousands of times higher quantities (AND
potency!) than all the industrial contaminants together...
The Chlorophiles are an independent group of workers in the chlorine- and
PVC-industry, who are reacting on the false accusations of groups like
Greenpeace on the products they produce responsible and with responsible
The Chlorophiles have their web site at:
Due to vacations, we will not be able to respond on reactions on this
message, that will be until August 15.
>to: Martin Simson and all others interested
>the chemical you asked about (bis (di-ethyl-hexyl) phthalate) also known as
>DEHP, is a plasticizer added principally to PVC to make it flexible. At least
>95% of DEHP is used in PVC plastic. Over three million metric tons of
>phthalates are consumed every year globally (in the US 300 million pounds of
>phthalates are produced each year -- about 270 million pounds of this is DEHP),
>and they are found throughout the environment.
>(DEHP has been found in air in remote parts of the Pacific Ocean and, according
>to the Danish EPA is the most abundant endocrine-disrupting chemical in the
>Phthalates are not only released into the environment by the factyories that
>manufacture them, but during the manufacture of plastics that contain them (the
>largest TRI emitter of DEHP in Ohio in one recent year, for instance was
>Baxter, who uses them in making PVC-based medical devices), during the
>products' use and even after they are disposed of. The kinds of PVC products
>made with DEHP include cable coatings, floorings, wall paper, artificial
>leather, packaging and toys. Up to 60% of the total weight of some products
>may be the plasticizer.
>The PVC industry's claim that phthalates are only "weakly" estrogenic ignores
>the fact that the timing of the dose is more important than the magnitude --
>which is why there was a scare in the UK when people found phthalates in all
>brands of infant formula!
>The solution is to ban (phase-out) PVC, which is what the Danish parliament is
>considering -- a proposal brought by the Parliament's environment committee,
>backed up by the Danish EPA, which published a report of the potential toxic
>and estrogen-mimicking effects of the plasticizers bis(2-0ethylhexyl)phthalate
>and diisodecyl phthalate (Chemical Week, Feb 7, p. 41).
>This issue deserves attention in the US, but hasn't received it yet. The
>industry knows it is coming.
>847 W. Jackson
>Chicago, IL 60607
>(312) 563-6099 fx