"Sales of our phthalate-free plasticiser Mesamoll are already growing at an annual rate of around 15 %, making this sector stronger than the overall plasticiser market, says Jorge Nogueira, head of the Functional Chemicals business unit. "Mesamoll, which many customers use as an alternative to phthalate-based plasticisers, has recorded above-average growth since 2005 and we expect this trend to continue. In chemical terms, the products from the Mesamoll range are alkanesulfonic acid esters that are notable for their good resistance to saponification, outstanding solvating and migration properties and compatibility with a wide range of polymers such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), rubber, and polyurethane. The approvals granted for food contact applications are another advantage. Mesamoll II has been classified by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as posing no risk to humans when used in food contact applications such as dry and water-based foodstuffs. This positive rating from the EFSA is the final step before European approval of the plasticiser for these areas of application, which Lanxess now expects to receive in fall 2010. Once approval is granted, Mesamoll II will be one of the few plasticisers to have received food contact approval in both the USA and the EU. Lanxess also offers further products that enable users to switch to phthalate-free additives. These include Mesamoll TP LXS 51067 and bonding agent TP LXS 51099. The new grade Mesamoll TP LXS 51067 is a fast-solvating plasticiser for PVC processing. It is suitable for producing plastic floor coverings and wall coatings. The bonding agent TP LXS 51099 is a product designed for use in manufacturing PVC advertising boards, dinghies and bouncy castles/moonwalks.