Vinyl Toys and Medical Devices Declared Safe *Provinyl Propaganda Alert!!*

- A blue ribbon panel headed by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has declared that vinyl toys and medical products made with phthalate plasticizers are not harmful to children or adults. In fact, the panel found the use of plasticizers in some medical devices makes them safer than alternative materials. The panel, convened by the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), based its findings on a comprehensive review of all available scientific literature - including pending studies - on two additives, DINP and DEHP, used in toys and medical products to provide flexibility. While reassuring consumers that they can be confident that vinyl toys and medical devices are safe, Dr. Koop criticized consumer and environmental activists for waging a battle over the safety of well-tested chemicals. In a strongly worded column in The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Koop urged them instead to focus their attention on the "demons that lead us along the road to sickness and death," such as smoking, excessive drinking, drug use, accidents in the home, unprotected sex, poor nutrition and lack of exercise. "The enemy is not tiny amounts of chemicals that have proved safe over many years," he said. A summary of the report is available on the Vinyl Institute's Web site, www.vinyltoys.com.
EnVIronmental Briefs, August 1999

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