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The Fortnight

Imploring disaster

Jun 30, 1998 | From the print edition

on behalf of toy companies, the us government is fighting against the European Union's ( eu ) efforts to ban polyvinyl chloride ( pvc ) toys. The us commerce department has directed its diplomats to try and turn around several such bans already in effect. European countries are trying hard to stop the sale of controversial chemical compounds from teething rings and other toys.

Many toy companies are concerned about the outcome of the potential ban by the eu as it may have negative impacts on their sales in the us and Europe. The eu plans to ban phthalates which are used as softening components that provide a spongy, chewy feel when added to plastics. A study conducted in Denmark has shown that some phthalates, which are used in toys may cause cancer and weaken immune systems.


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