Plasticizers are used in a variety of applications: ranging from rather technical areas as wire & cable, over day-to-day applications such as flooring & wallcovering, up to sensitive products like toys, food contact materials or medical devices. As diverse as the applications, is the regulatory framework.
Update of Entry 51 of Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006:
DIBP was added to the existing restrictions for the phthalate plasticizers DEHP (DOP), DBP, BBP. As of July 7, 2020, these four phthalates are not allowed individually or in any combination in concentration equal or greater than 0.1% by weight of the plasticized material in toys and childcare articles. Comission Regulation (EU) 2018/2005 extends the restriction to any article that is not specifically exempted in the regulation.
DEHP (DOP) in medical devices: usage is more and more restricted, alternative plasticizers such as Hexamoll® DINCH are needed and were added to the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) in 2018 (see below).
According to the Medical Device Regulation (EU) 2017/745: medical devices need a specific justification if containing substances above 0.1% with the following properties, which both apply to DEHP (DOP):
- CMR Cat 1A or 1B (carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction)
- endocrine disrupting properties with scientific evidence of serious effects to human health
Based on the final version of SCHEER’s (Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks) ”Guidelines on the benefit-risk assessment of the presence of phthalates in certain medical devices“, justification documents for medical devices containing DEHP (DOP) need to be provided as of May 26, 2021. These documents need to show the intended purpose and context of the use of the device including available alternative substances and alternative materials, designs or medical treatments.
So far, DEHP (DOP) was exempt from authorisation (REACH Annex XIV) in medical devices as only classified for human health, which is regulated in Medical Device Regulation (EU) 2017/745. Since December 2014, DEHP (DOP) is on the candidate list for authorisation due to endocrine disrupting properties (Article 57f – environment (new) and human health). On July 10, 2019, ECHA recommended to amend Annex XIV: all exempted should need authorisation, which means medical devices containing DEHP (DOP) will need authorisation. Final decision pending.
The European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) introduced four alternative plasticizers that can be added to PVC for the manufacturing of medical devices. Hexamoll® DINCH is listed in the European Pharmacopoeia as Additive 24 for uses like e.g. blood bags and medical tubing.1 Of the four newly added plasticizers, only for DEHTP (bis-(2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate and Hexamoll® DINCH (cyclohexane 1,2-dicarboxylic acid, diisononyl ester), a Regulatory Management Option Analysis (RMOA) was performed.
The RMOA for Hexamoll® DINCH was undertaken by France and published on the ECHA website. The conclusion is “No need to initiate further regulatory risk management action at this time” (published by ECHA in Jan 2016) – this is the best possible result.2
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC) issued a final phthalates rule (16 CFR part 1307), implementing a prohibition of children’s toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth and child care articles that contain concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of DINP. Previously, permanent prohibitions of toys/ childcare articles containing concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of DEHP, DBP, BBP, DIBP, DPENP, DHEXP and DCHP were already implemented.Hexamoll® DINCH as an alternative plasticizer is currently being evaluated by the University of Cincinnati by the order of US CPSC.
Arabian Restriction Notification to World Trade Organization (WTO):
(i.e. Bahhrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen)
French Law No. 2012-1442 (2012) Article 3, Chapter IV:
"Article L 5214-1 as of July 1, 2015, the use of tubes containing di (2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP/ DOP) is banned in pediatrics, neonatoloy and maternity."