Swedish Environmental Agency Finds Banned Substances in Plastic Products

During a random check, authorities at the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) found long-forbidden substances in common household products. They examined 160 plastic articles, including bathing and gardening supplies, work gloves, bags, and sporting goods. Some 38 articles contained phthalates, lead, cadmium, dimethylformamide, methylacetamide, and, most commonly, chlorinated paraffins, which are used as plasticizers and flame retardants. In their report (in Swedish, with a summary in English), the authors write that 14 of the items studied showed a concentration greater than the allowable threshold.

After the results were made public, some companies voluntarily stopped selling the products. The Agency issued a ban in two cases and referred 20 cases to prosecutors.

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