shutterstock 368080166 750x310 1

Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are classed as restricted substances and are regulated by REACH; a European Union regulation which prohibits the sale of goods that do not comply with the specified chemical limits.

Phthalates are used primarily as plasticizers in polyvinylchloride (PVC) and Polyurethane (PU) products in high volume manufacturing. Products manufactured from these materials have the potential to contain phthalates, so it is the responsibility of brands, retailers and manufacturers to test products to ensure compliance with REACH regulation.


How will the Phthalates REACH restriction be expanded?

In March 2018, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) circulated a notification announcing a draft regulation which would amend entry 51 under Annex XVII of REACH concerning the restriction of phthalates.

The proposal contains a number of changes to entry 51 under Annex XVII of REACH, including:

  • Expanding the scope of phthalates to cover DEHP, DBP, BBP and DIBP (DIBP is currently not listed)
  • Expanding the scope of articles from toys and childcare articles only to plasticised parts of all articles
  • The 0.1% limit to apply to all phthalates individually and as a combination

According to the WTO notification, the draft regulation is expected to be adopted in the second half of 2018 for toys and childcare articles.

The provision to restrict the four phthalates in articles other than toys and childcare articles will become effective 18 months after the date of entry into force, likely to be early 2020.


What products are likely to contain Phthalates?

Phthalates can be present in several product groups including clothing and apparel, footwear, accessories, upholstery, homeware and children’s toys, so it important that your business can provide assurance of REACH compliance through testing.

The risk of non-compliance could result in large fines and product recalls, both of which can be damaging to the business.


How to comply with REACH Regulation

BLC can test your products for compliance with REACH regulation through the following chemical testing packages:

  • REACH SVHC testing and screening service, where we test for the presence of the latest published SVHC list
  • Annex XVII testing for legal compliance – applicable to articles sold & manufactured within Europe
  • Smart testing service for REACH which can save your business significant costs by combining materials

Find out more about REACH Testing Services from BLC.


International Restriction of Phthalates

In addition to being restricted under REACH, Phthalates are also restricted under CPSIA and California proposition 65 as well as other international legislations.

BLC also provide chemical testing of products and samples for compliance with CPSIA and California Proposition 65.


Contact a Chemical Expert Today

If your business is likely to be affected by this Phthalates restriction under REACH regulation, you can contact BLC today for chemical testing and compliance. Call a BLC chemical expert today on +44 (0) 1604 679 999 or email

EU Proposes to Expand Phthalates Restriction under REACH