ECPI web delivers more up to date information by dfgh4bnmu


									                                                                                                              ECPI newsletter        #    issue 8

                                             PVC spheres spark new craze
                                                                            See page 3 ...

                             "High hopes for roofing project                          [2]
                             "DINP behind world’s first inflatable church             [3]
                             "PVC film has strong future in food contact              [4]
             in this issue

                             "Websites give information in Danish                     [5]
                             "Inform on applications                                  [6]
                             "Phthalates cleared in study                             [7]
                             "Plasticisers support flexible design                    [8]

ECPI web delivers more up                                                 to date information
Visitors to ECPI’s suite of websites are             on plasticisers and on phthalates has moved to   and application-specific sites such as the DEHP
benefiting from more frequently-updated              two new sites: the Plasticisers Information      Information Centre (;
information, thanks to a revamp.                     Centre ( and the            medicalplast ( and
                                                     Phthalates    Information    Centre     Europe   floorplast (
In the future, they will even be able to             ( respectively.
subscribe to news alerts which will deliver                                                  covers a broader range of
information direct to their e-mail in-box.           The Phthalates Information Centre Europe         plasticisers and has links to information
                                                     contains comprehensive information on all the    centres in the US and Japan.
A change in the structure of the sites means         major phthalates as well as links to substance
people searching for information                                                                      ECPI hopes that users of plasticisers will find
on plasticisers in general, or on                                                                                        the sites a useful resource
individual plasticisers such as                                                                                             in answering queries
phthalates, will be more                                                                                                    from customers such as
likely to find what they                                                                                                   wholesalers,     retailers
are looking for.                                                                                                          and even the general
                                                                                                                          public. They also provide a
ECPI’s      main               website                                                                                   comprehensive and useful
( is still the                                                                                              resource for regulators and
primary source of information on                                                                                        legislators, as well as the
ECPI and the Association’s                                                                                             media.                       s

activities, but generic information

ECPI newsletter # Autumn 2003 # issue 8                                                                                                      page 1
High hopes for                           roofing project
At least 50% of collectable PVC roofing waste        The project is a clear demonstration of the      “We have already undertaken a study into
could be recyclable by 2005 – that’s the aim of      commitment of the flexible PVC industry’s        potential waste streams across Europe up
a group set up to investigate the potential for      determination to improve the rate of recycling   until 2015, and established where the gaps
re-use of PVC building membrane in Europe.           for such materials. ECPI is helping to fund it   are in current capacity and technology. We
                                                     as part of the Vinyl 2010 initiative, which it   followed that by running pilot schemes for
Plasticised PVC has helped create some of the        has supported since its inception.               waste collection, which was originally carried
most remarkable buildings designed in recent                                                          out by AfDR alone.
times, such as the Stade de France in Paris,         Led by ESWA (European Single-ply Water-
which is covered by 50,000m of PVC, and the
                                                     proofing Association), the project stems from    It was clear that in order to reach the targets
Vista Alegre bullfighting ring in Madrid, which      work already carried out in Germany by the       set by the Voluntary Commitment, present
has an inflatable roof made of PVC membrane.         recycling unit, AfDR (Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur    recycling capacity would not be sufficient. We
                                                     PVC-Dachbahnen-Recycling). The unit was set      have therefore been examining a series of
                                                     up in 1994 by several ESWA members, and is       options, including increasing capacity at
                                                     now being operated within the framework of       AfDR, and working with partners planning
                                                     the Voluntary Commitment in order to help the    new recycling units.”
                                                     industry meet its recycling targets.
                                                                                                      Such investigations into how the Edelweiss
                                                     “Even though the project is at an early stage,   project could run have already borne fruit.
                                                     we are making progress,” said Walter Claes,      German waste management company,
                                                     Project manager for the programme, which         Interseroh, came on board as a partner to
        The Stade de France has a PVC roof
                                                     has been named Edelweiss.                                                                 "
                                                                                                      help with collection, and it is hoped the"

  Plasticised PVC - the stadium architect’s flexible friend
  PVC membranes are becoming a familiar              PVC roof for the Volkswagen Arena and            and good performance at temperature
  sight in some of the world's most high             Canton (PRC), Rades (TU) and Parken              extremes. We believe they are safer than
  profile sports stadiums, primarily because of      (DK) stadiums. Ferrari uses plasticisers to      alternatives and we use them where we can
  their flexibility and ability to withstand all     improve the tear resistance and flexibility of   as liquid components in the process.
  weathers.                                          PVC fabric, as well to secure the welding of
                                                     several layers of material together.             "Plasticisers also perform well in the long
  Plasticisers, particularly phthalates, are a key                                                    term, as they have very low migration, that
  component, and used extensively by one of          Dr Jean-Luc Perillon is Director of R&D for      is they stay contained within the material.
  Europe's leading membrane manufacturers,           the company: "Plasticisers, particularly         This is very important for the top layer,
  Ferrari.                                           phthalates if properly selected and              which must perform under harsh environ-
                                                     formulated, are ideal for use with the PVC       mental conditions - phthalates perform
  The French-based company is behind the             materials we develop. They provide a good        particularly well in this regard."        s

  materials for such projects as the flexible        combination of durability, cost effectiveness

ECPI newsletter # Autumn 2003 # issue 8                                                                                                      page 2
relationship could extend into Benelux,
Northern France, Switzerland and Austria.
                                                   scheme for roofing waste will have been
                                                   established.                                    s
The company collects the post consumer PVC
roofing membranes and transports them to            Vinyl 2010 is a 10-year programme run by
the AfDR recycling plant in Troisdorf.              the organisations in the PVC production
                                                    chain to deliver a range of specific targets
                                                                                                       spark new craze
A new transport and logistics system has also       covering recycling, stabiliser use, PVC
been introduced, using large bags instead of        production standards, further research on          A    company       which    offers   ‘unusual
wooden crates for transport. It is hoped that       plasticisers, investment in new recycling          experiences’ is using giant, flexible PVC balls
by 2005 other similar partnerships will be in       technologies and the establishment of a            as part of one of its more dramatic ways to
place, and that an adequate collection              social dialogue in Europe.                         escape the boredom of everyday life.

                                                                                                       ‘Sphereing’ involves being strapped inside a
                                                                                                       cabin held within a four metre, inflatable PVC
DINP behind world’s                                                                                    ball, then being released downhill. The

first inflatable                                      church                                           spheres can reach speeds of up to 48km an
                                                                                                       hour, so each run is carefully constructed to
                                                                                                       ensure that they come firmly to a halt at the
A PVC inflatable church made with                                   “We use soft PVC because           bottom of the hill and don’t reach the nearest
Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) has                                           it is durable, able to       motorway!
been touring the continent –                                               withstand        extreme
allowing couples to get married                                            temperature variations      The cabin is securely held within the PVC
wherever their hearts desire.                                              and it is colour-fast,“     sphere, and since the balls are inflatable, the
                                                                          said Dan Vandevoorde of      capsule inside is well-padded. Plasticised
The air-filled building can hold up to                              X-Treme. “The church relies        PVC ensures the sphere is highly flexible, and
60 people, and is 10m high from ground to                    heavily on DINP to give it flexibility    sturdy yet light, allowing voyagers to feel
steeple, 12.8m long and 6m wide. It includes a     and form, but the phthalate also has low            safe in their ‘cocoon’, while experiencing
blow-up organ, altar, pulpit, pews, candles and    volatility and can withstand extreme cold.”         incredible sensations. One brave soul
a gold cross. The church even has plastic                                                              described the experience as ‘like bungee
‘stained glass’ windows and airbrush artwork       The church can be built in two hours and            jumping in bed'!
which replicates a traditional church.             disassembled in less than one and according to
                                                   the designer it could play a part in making the     Brave enough to give it a go?
Michael Gill of in               church more accessible to local communities.        Visit the Red Letter Days website at
Southampton, UK, designed the church, and          “You can't bounce on this inflatable, but you Bon Voyage!         s

the   Belgian-Dutch       company        X-Treme   can get involved with some fun activities
Inflatables manage production based on             around it,” he said.
requests. The designer has had enquiries
from over 50 countries since the church was        For more information please contact
launched in early 2003.                            Dan Vandevoorde at X-Treme Inflatables
                                                   on +32 (0)2 714 11 00
                                                   ( or
                                                   Michael Gill at
                                                   on +44 7768 107471
                                                   (           Or, visit the
 PVC church relies on DINP                                                                              Would you dare?
                                                   website at            s

ECPI newsletter # Autumn 2003 # issue 8                                                                                                     page 3
               PVC film has strong future in                                                 food contact
               Plasticised PVC film is still the best option for     Linpac is a major UK-based Group specialising         "We believe plasticised PVC film has the best
               food contact - that's the opinion of Jean             in packaging, materials handling and                  technical properties for food contact, both for
               Pierre Le Breton, Quality Manager for Linpac          automotive components. It has built itself into       commercial and consumer use. It has excellent
               Plastics Films, a division of the Linpac Group.       a multi-million euro business from small              oxygen permeability for fresh food, for
                                                                     beginnings as a paper packaging company               example, it's easy to use, clings extremely well
                                                                     established in 1959 in the UK and now employs         and is the most cost-effective film available."
                                                                     11,000 people across five continents.
                                                                                                                           Linpac uses di-2-ethylhexyl adipate (DEHA) in
                                                                     Linpac Plastics Films specialises in the production   its production process, maintaining it provides
                                                                     of flexible films, and has seven sites employing      the best performance for stretchability and
                                                                     1,000 people. Jean-Pierre Le Breton works at          cling at low temperatures. It has also under-
                                                                     the Pontivy site in Brittany, France, the largest     gone independent tests to measure migration
                                                                     of Linpac's film operations.                          levels, particularly in fatty foods, and shows
                                                                                                                           excellent results. Migration limits are currently
                                                                     "We manufacture a wide range of film for food         a subject of much interest to film producers
                                                                     packaging, ranging from barrier to multi-layer,       such as Linpac, in the light of the planned
                                                                     from plain to printed and from blown film to          changes to EU regulations.
                                                                     cast, but 70% of all the film we produce is
Picture courtesy of Linpac
                                                                     PVC-based," said Mr Le Breton.                        The Commission is currently reviewing all
                                                                                                                           products which come into contact with food in

                 Plasticisers and food production                                                                          an attempt to harmonise legislation. This
                                                                                                                           review includes DEHA and will include new
                  Plasticised PVC is used right across food production, appearing in everything from the                   rules on migration levels, based on the concept
                  conveyor belts for food transportation, to the plastic wrap that might cover the finished                of an 'average' person's food intake (20% fatty
                  product. As such, plasticisers have had a role to play in the manufacture, packaging and                 food and 80% aqueous food).
                  protection of foodstuffs for decades.
                                                                                                                           "We welcome harmonisation of the law,"
                  A website is available (, where more information can be found, but as an               explained Mr Le Breton. "Currently, we have to
                  at a glance guide:                                                                                       use different formulations depending on which
                  • Plasticisers give clarity and strength to film, which makes it ideal for displaying food at            country our materials are destined for, as we
                     home as well as at the supermarket;                                                                   have to abide by different national regulations.
                  • They are cost-effective for production, and help keep food fresher longer by allowing effec-
                     tive water and oxygen transmission - that in turn helps keep prices of foodstuffs down for            "However, we are concerned by the rules the
                     the consumer;                                                                                         EU is currently using for the determination of
                  • Plasticisers allow food wrap to cling to bowls, which in turn keeps germs out and helps                specific migration of additives. Through our
                     keep food fresh and safe;                                                                             association EPFMA*, we are working with
                  • DEHA remains flexible at low temperatures, meaning it is the most versatile of all the                 them to try and achieve limits based on more
                     plasticisers used for food contact materials;                                                         realistic levels.
                  • Polymeric plasticisers are often used in conjunction with DEHA in order to further reduce
                     overall migration levels.                                                                             "For example, for DEHA the rules proposed by
                                                                                                                           EU directives for compliance with specific "

               ECPI newsletter # Autumn 2003 # issue 8                                                                                                             page 4
migration limits are based on the assumption        used in a film varies. Linpac has a fully
that we eat a kilogramme of fatty food per day,     automated process that accurately controls the
which is extremely exaggerated.                     formulation and ensures migration limits are
                                                    adhered to.
"We conducted several studies based on real
                                                                                                                                Picture courtesy of Linpac
figures of DEHA intake and migration of DEHA in     "We are extremely careful that the
food which clearly demonstrate that the PVC film    formulations we use are correct, and that the      "We will continue to see demands for
manufactured by EPFMA members is completely         materials we use are safe. We have proved the      alternatives from some areas. Linpac clearly
safe and complies with the EU regulations.”         safety of DEHA many times, and we are              wants to meet a variety of customer needs,
                                                    confident that we should continue to use it,”      and we are looking into use of polyolefins for
Linpac currently works with over 100 different      continued Mr Le Breton.                            example. However, whilst we need to diversify,
formulations. It not only has to take into                                                             we don't intend to do that without looking for
account national legislation, it must also          "Our customers - often major retailers - are       the best compromise between performance
understand from its customer exactly what use       also under increasing pressure to supply           and cost."
the film is to be designed for. Because different   their fresh products ready-packed. We see
foodstuffs encourage different levels of            that trend increasing, and we know that the        *EPFMA: European Polyvinyl Film
migration from the products that surround           best product to meet that need is flexible PVC     Manufacturers Association
them, the amount of plasticiser that can be         film.                                              (website                         s

Websites give information in                                               Danish
Efforts to reach regulators, manufacturers          clear messages about the safety and benefits
and end-users in Denmark with science-              of plasticisers across to as many people as
based information about plasticisers                possible.
have been boosted with the launch of a
new website from ECPI, written in                   “This is part of our continued efforts to ensure
Danish.                                             decisions are not made which do not take into
                                                    account the full, scientific evidence. Whilst
Plasticiser manufacturers and companies             information sites such as this cannot work in
using the products in their processes have          isolation, they do at least provide a useful
experienced at first hand how information           resource for regulators, media and to some
on plasticisers such as phthalates can be           extent the public.”
distorted by some consumer groups,
particularly in Denmark, which has a very           Those interested can visit the site at
                                                                                                                                Danes get web info
strong environmental lobby.                - and also look
                                                    out for other sites available in Dutch, French,
“We continually try to keep Danish decision-        Italian and Spanish.                          s

makers informed, primarily through seeking
face to face meetings with them,” said
Tim Edgar, Deputy Director of ECPI. "English is
widely understood, but it is still helpful to
provide technical information in someone's
own language. This is another way of getting

ECPI newsletter # Autumn 2003 # issue 8                                                                                                         page 5
Inform on applications

Each issue, Inform takes a look at the             How do plasticisers feature in                                 even enable the user to select
companies that make the most of the benefits       your production process?                                          the amount of light entering
plasticisers can bring, turning raw materials      We use plasticisers primarily                                       the room. In all cases,
into the practical, everyday applications that     in the production of sealants                                       double-glazing contributes
surround us.                                       for     insulation     glass                                        to a reduction of energy
                                                   (double-glazing). The most                                        costs and to quieter working
This issue we take a look at Fenzi, a world        widely-used is butyl benzyl                                    and living environments.
leader in production of specialty chemicals        phthalate (BBP), which we use to
for glass processing.                              produce bi-component, polysulphide based         Why do you use plasticisers and what
                                                   sealants.                                        benefits do they bring?
Established in 1941, Fenzi SpA makes a range                                                        In production of sealants, plasticisers are
of products connected with glass production.       In the production of double-glazing, gases -     essential in order to achieve good mechanical
They include anti-corrosive paints for mirror      mainly Argon, Cripton and SF6 - are injected     properties of the end product, in terms of
backing; ceramic and decorative paints for         between the two panes to improve thermal         breaking and extension loads: it needs to be
glass; a wide range of sealants for the            and acoustic properties. Sealants ensure that    flexible and perform well under weight
production of insulating glass; aluminium steel    the gases are kept inside, prevent water         pressures. We use phthalates because they
and stainless steel spacers for insulating glass   vapour from entering and physically hold         are very compatible with the polysulphide
and metal profiles for stained glass.              together the structure of the windows. We also   base.
                                                   use a very small quantity of DEHP in anti-
The company exports to over 70 countries           corrosive paints for mirror backings.            Why is BBP the preferred phthalate for
worldwide, and reached an annual turnover of                                                        manufacturing sealants?
100 million euro in the year 2000. It is head-     What advantages does double-glazing              There are two main benefits: its compatibility
quartered in Tribiano, near Milan, Italy. Inform   bring consumers?                                 with the polysulphide base and its lower cost
asked Pietro Ungarelli, Fenzi’s Research           There are different kinds of windows which       compared to other phthalates. It is also
and Development Director, to explain the           deliver different properties in terms of         important that additives do not migrate from
company’s use of plasticisers in its production    performance. Some primarily keep noise out,      the sealant into the glass itself, and BBP gives
processes.                                         others are designed to keep heat in, and some    the best performance in that respect.

                                                                                                    Would you consider alternatives to BBP?
  PVC windows - a clear choice                                                                      There is no easy answer, because BBP is in fact
                                                                                                    the best-performing product – which is why we
                                                                                                    use it! If we were ever forced to find an
                                                                                                    alternative, it would have to perform equally
                                                                                                    well, yet not mean higher prices for our
                                                                                                    customers. That would be a challenge!         s

Pictures courtesy of AgPU

ECPI newsletter # Autumn 2003 # issue 8                                                                                                      page 6
Phthalates cleared
of being endocrine disruptors to humans
Japanese research shows no evidence to support widely held assumptions

After five years exhaustive scientific research     What is an ‘endocrine disruptor’ and why are people worried about them?
and evaluation, Japan has finally put to rest       Endocrine disruptors are substances, either natural or synthetic, which mimic - or are
one of the greatest misconceptions about            structurally similar - to hormones in humans or animals. It is thought by some researchers that
phthalates. Japanese health authorities have        because the structure of some man-made chemicals is similar to ‘natural’ hormones, they
declared them not to be human endocrine             could attach themselves to hormone receptors in the body and either activate them or block
disruptors.                                         them. This could affect the normal activity of the endocrine system, potentially leading to
                                                    reproductive problems.
ECPI’s Dr David Cadogan explains to Inform
why this should now put an end to the long          It has been hypothesised that environmental exposure of humans to endocrine mimicking
debate that has been taking place in Europe         substances is responsible, among other things, for male reproductive health problems such as
and elsewhere around the world:                     low sperm count, un-descended testes and testicular cancer.

“The statement from the Japanese Ministry           The concept is not new to science. Our ancestors used natural oestrogen mimics as
of the Environment was categorical. The             contraceptives 2000 years ago.
Deliberative    Committee     had     carefully
assessed the results of the hazard evaluations    rodents were 200,000 times the average level        male offspring have been conducted at levels
conducted under the Endocrine Disrupting          of likely human exposure. At these extremely        very much higher than typical human
Substances Strategic Program, known as            high levels, DBP, BBP and DEHP were shown           exposure.
Speed 98, and none of the commonly used           to have hormone-like effects, which resulted
phthalates have been found to possess             in altered sexual development in male rats,         Furthermore, recent research has also shown
endocrine disrupting capabilities likely to be    whilst DINP had minimal impact.                     that there is a clear species difference
of concern to humans.                                                                                 between rodents and humans. When primates
                                                  Unfortunately, it was the assumption that           are exposed to the same very high levels of
For the plasticiser and PVC industry it is very   effects seen at very high doses in rodents          phthalates the effects seen in rodents were
welcome news because for a long time              (rats or mice) should be presumed to occur in       not evident.
people have speculated that at least              humans that has been promoted by consumer
some phthalates might be human endocrine          groups and fuelled by the media. There is           The latest news from Japan does not mean
disruptors.                                       nothing the media likes more than a scare           that we will now stop our research. To the
                                                  story – and headlines such as “Fears over           contrary, endocrine disruption is an issue
Because they are in such wide use, the            gender-bending chemicals” and “Plastics             which will continue to be researched in con-
phthalates     dibutyl    phthalate     (DBP),    playing havoc with your hormones” have              junction with the Cefic Long Range Research
benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP), di-2-ethylhexyl      unfortunately become commonplace.                   Initiative (LRI) ( However,
phthalate (DEHP) and diisononyl phthalate                                                             we hope that the EU authorities will now fol-
(DINP) have been included in studies investi-     However, what is very clear is that phthalates      low the Japanese lead and take phthalates off
gating the potential role of chemicals as         do not produce hormone-like effects at low          the lists of chemicals that have been under
endocrine disruptors. However, in the most        dose levels. Studies that have resulted in          suspicion.”                                     s

recent of these studies, the doses given to       effects in rodents such as the feminisation of

ECPI newsletter # Autumn 2003 # issue 8                                                                                                      page 7
Plasticisers support                                     flexible design
                                                                                                                              Chrysalis is
Headline-generating art and design in                     ‘Marsyas’ was made of three steel rings
                                                                                                                           highly flexible
recent months have one thing in common –                  joined by a single span of flexible PVC
plasticisers.                                             membrane. Such membrane typically contains
                                                          up to 30% plasticiser, enabling the end-user
London’s trendiest art gallery, Tate Modern, saw          to benefit from flexibility and lightness to
thousands of visitors flock to see a giant, flexible      maximum effect.
PVC structure that owed its shape to plasticisers.
                                                          Comfort and design
The 7,000 square metre sculpture, which was               Plasticisers were also at the heart of
created by artist Anish Kapoor, dominated the             ‘Chrysalis’, a PVC chair created by French
massive Turbine Hall, which is 155m long,                 designer Philippe Belanger as part of the ‘PVC
23m wide and 35m high.                                    for Life and Living’ campaign.                      Global acclaim
                                                                                                              Plasticised PVC creations even won places at
                                                          The huge success of previously commissioned         the world-famous Venice Biennial, taking
                                                          designs under the same initiative, such as the      pride of place alongside major contemporary
                                                          ‘fruit cushion’, was largely due to the             art from almost 50 countries.
                                                          unique properties of plasticised PVC: those
                                                          properties were exploited to their full extent      The PVC ‘fruit cushion’, featured in a previous
                                                          by the designer of Chrysalis.                       issue of Inform, and the ‘feather’, a soft PVC
                                                                                                              cushion filled with colourful feathers by
                                                          “The incredible diversity of forms that flexible    designer     Riccardo Giovanetti, both won
                                                          PVC offers, constitutes an almost infinite field    acceptance for display at the event, which attracts
                                                          of research which opens up new functions as         thousands of people from all over the world.     s

                                                          well as new visual and tactile sensations,” he
                                                          said.                                                The PVC for Life and Living programme
                                                                                                               was developed in 1999 by the European
                                                          Belanger experimented with the flexible PVC          Council of Vinyl Manufacturers to
                                                          material for a period of nine months before he       illustrate the many ways in which PVC can
                                                          produced a work that he believed reflects the        enhance our daily lives.          It aims to
                                                          inspirational and inherent properties of PVC. The    increase interest amongst the design
                                                          chair he created is mobile and versatile, a          community for working with the material
       Marsyas - bold use of plasticised PVC              sculpture as well as a moveable object, and          and to foster an appreciation of its
                Picture courtesy of the Tate Gallery
                                                          combines the need for comfort as well as balance.    aesthetic qualities.

                                                 The European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI)
   Avenue E. Van Nieuwenhuyse 4, Box 2, B-1160 Brussels, Belgium, telephone: + 32 2 676 7260, fax: + 32 2 676 73 92, e-mail:

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