Phthalates under attack in Asia?!

Last week phthalate plasticizers, and more specific DOP, did get an alarming amount of negative publicity. A major newspaper like the Shanghai Daily News reported a possible scandal involving DOP.
More than 6000 sport drinks were withdrawn out of supermarkets because being contaminated with DOP. The shocking fact is that this plasticizer was put in the drink intentionally.
According to the newspaper more than 40 food manufacturers are involved and drinks are being recalled in more than 10 countries including Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, United States and Vietnam.

The Nanfang Daily reported the same week that potential harmful chemicals which are banned in the US are still legally used in toys in China. The chemical which is meant is DOP. Interestingly however the media only talks about phthalates…again an example that DOP is harming the image of all phthalates, no distinction between different kind of phthalates are being made.
Asia was always seen as the last region in the world where concerns about phthalates would lead to a move towards phthalate free plasticizers. DOP demand is Asia is very healthy.
The above mentioned DOP scandal at least did make people aware of this product and the potential harmful effect. Asia is consistent with Europe by putting all different phthalates in the same box, phthalates are perceived as harmful by the public, no exceptions. In my opinion it would be naïve not to expect a reaction with regard to demand for phthalate plasticizers. Negative news travels quickly and sells good. I expect more and more negative publicity for phthalates which in time will boost demand for phthalate free plasticizers, yes, even in Asia.

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