IN 2011 the first round of changes imposed by the Toy Safety Directive came into force. This Directive was the first from the EU to use the criteria laid down in the EU New Legislative Framework.
However, these were not the only changes imposed by this Directive and a second round of requirements are due for toys placed on the market after July 20th, 2013. These are the new chemical substance restrictions.
Here’s a summary of the changes:
1. EN71-3 will be modified to cover 19 different elements in three distinct material states.
2. Category 1A, 1B and 2 Carcinogenic, Mutagenic and Reprotoxic substances under Regulation 1272/ 2008 cannot be used in toys.
3. Although not yet defined, the EU Commission will be adding substances to Appendix C of the Directive, which will set specific limit values for chemicals used in toys intended for use by children under 36 months, or in other toys intended to be placed in the mouth.
4. 55 allergenic fragrance ingredients will be restricted and a further 11 require labelling.
5. Dolls play cosmetics must comply with 76/768/EEC Cosmetic Safety Directive.
6. Nitrosamines are restricted in toys for children under 36 months or those intended to be placed in the mouth.
All chemical-related Toy Safety standards will be updated to match the new Directive requirements. In addition, there will be a new Nitrosamine standard EN71-12 and EN71-13 Olfactory board games, cosmetic kits and gustative games.
Final standards may not be published until near or after the July deadline.
So what impact will this all have on the toy industry?
For companies to remain competitive, they will need new compliance strategies that will move away from finished product testing.
Companies will need to investigate their materials and the likely chemical content of those materials.
This will target any compliance checks to a handful of substances, rather than a list of possibly thousands of restricted substances.
The EU’s own guidance documents for the Toy Safety Directive support this change in approach.
A statement on page 61 reads: “There is, however, no explicit obligation to test to these standards and there are cases where such testing would be superfluous. If the chemical safety assessment e.g. results in a conclusion that certain heavy elements covered by EN 71-3 cannot be present in the toy material, there is no obligation to test to the harmonised standard to confirm this (for the elements in question).
“Testing may also be superfluous in the case where the safety assessment concludes that due to the accessibility, function, volume or mass of the toy or toy material, there is no chemical hazard due to sucking, licking, swallowing or prolonged contact with skin.”
Jerry Burnie is MD of Independent Quality Solutions, which offers product compliance support. Burnie is Chairman of the BTHA Technical Committee and runs its Toy Safety Advisory Service. He is also a member of the UK Toy Safety Expert Group CW15. Visit www.i-q-s.co.uk