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French Parliament Targets Ban on Estrogen-mimicking Substances in Adhesives

Published on 2011-05-06. Author : SpecialChem

The French National Assembly had a surprise voting which could lead to the ban on phthalate chemicals based on their endocrine disrupting properties which are mainly used as plasticizers to enhance flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity of plastics and parabens which are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in cosmetics formulations. Despite of opposition by President Sarkozy's UMP and the government, vote was pushed by centre-right Nouveau Centre grouping, which is led by former defence minister Hervé Morin.

Phthalates are the chemical compounds which are already banned in children's toys but are still used in plastic wrapping, adhesives, paints, and cosmetics products like nail varnishes, hair lacquer and perfume. However, these chemicals easily get washed away into foodstuffs and released in atmosphere as plastics break down. Different tests in America detected phthalates in human bloodstream. These hormone-disrupting chemicals are common ingredients in personal-care products and plastics applications are related to obesity and also act as estrogen-mimicking substances hence affecting male reproductive process.

The proposal, which was passed by 236 votes to 222 was greeted well in parliament although it is not certain to become law as the government is not bound to pass it to the Senat, France's upper parliamentary house for further consideration. Environmental campaigners have also cheered the vote. Researcher André Cicolella telling newspaper Le Parisien: "It's an excellent decision and shows MPs have been conscious of the importance of the situation and resisted the chemical lobby."

When the bill was first proposed it was immature and health minister Xavier Bertrand suggested waiting until next year for the new scientific test results. Roselyne Bachelot, his predecessor also suggested to alert pregnant women for the presence of parabens by placing a warning on cosmetics products.

Written by : SpecialChem Editorial Team
Based on Information Displayed on www.connexionfrance.com


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