Hazardous Chemicals in Toys: Member States Urge Quick EU Action

The ministers of eleven member states of the EU (Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden) are urging stricter threshold values for hazardous chemicals in toys. In a joint letter to Elżbieta Bieńkowskathe Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs, the ministers pointed out various delays and appealed to the EU to update Directive 2009/48/EC on toy safety quickly.

As early as December 2018, the EU Expert Group had agreed on lowering the threshold values for aluminum, based on new scientific evidence. But that decision has not yet been implemented in the Directive. The authors of the letter therefore urged the EU Commission to vote on new limits for aluminum, formaldehyde, and aniline at its meeting in June, 2019.

The authors also want to amend the Directive so that in the future, its thresholds also cover toys for children over the age of three. One reason for this measure is a new type of toy. Squishies are a children’s toy made from PU foam that look cute and smell like caramel or cocoa. However, Danish studies have shown that squishies emit hazardous chemicals. Please also read our article on this topic EU Safety Gate Issues Warning About Hazardous Products: Toys Are the Front Runners.

In addition, say the authors, slime and modeling clay often contain preservatives that do not have any threshold limits in the Directive for toys used by children older than three.  

In closing, the ministers criticized the failure to revise the technical documentation and the explanatory guidance document since 2016, even though agreement has been reached on the required changes.

Ensure the safety of your products at all times. We can help. Contact us at reach@kft.de. 

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