After 10 days of scientific testimony, California Superior Court Judge Talmadge R. Jones ruled that Baxter Healthcare Corporation had proven that the mechanisms by which di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, causes cancer in mice do not operate in humans. The Illinois-based maker of medical supplies, such as intravenous fluid bags and dialysis equipment, is entitled to an exemption from California laws requiring warnings for compounds believed to cause cancer, Jones said in a detailed November 21 ruling laden with scientific analysis.

California may appeal the decision, which is the first of its kind involving a 16-year-old list of 800 compounds, Deputy Attorney General Susan L. Durbin told The Scientist. But, she added, economics and science argue against similar attacks on the warning requirement by other makers of compounds on the carcinogen list.

"Very few manufacturers are going to be able to afford to put on that kind of a case...

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