Investigations Show Non-Compliant Toys Are Being Distributed in Europe

Investigations Show Non-Compliant Toys Are Being Distributed in Europe

During a recent testing exercise in Europe, researchers had no difficulty finding plastic children’s toys containing risky chemical compositions.

In a market surveillance activity funded by the European Union (EU), approximately one-fifth of the 255 toys studied were found to contain at least one substance of very high concern (SVHC) under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation. Researchers selected a non-random sample of toys they felt posed the highest risk to children, including toys most likely to be put in a child’s mouth (such as a plasticized book), low-cost toys or toys without proper labelling.

Through the study, plastic dolls, bath and squeezable toys, plastic books and inflatable toys were tested. Just under 20 percent of products tested contained the presence of Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Diisononyl phthalate (DINP), short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCP) and bisphenol A (BPA) above threshold levels.

Toys that were imported into the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in addition to EU countries, were more likely to fail to meet safety and compliance standards than those produced in the EEA, the study found. Study experts determined that 98 percent of the non-compliant samples posted a serious risk.

The European Commission has been working toward simpler approaches for surveillance authorities to assess products and take appropriate action, as the March 1, 2018 new content limit for BPA in toys is now in effect. The content limit was reduced from 3 percent to 0.3 percent.

In a similar 2017 study, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) reviewed 261 products, including toys, sporting goods and consumer electronics. The study, which audited importers who had previously imported products with hazardous chemicals, found 23 percent of the products had at least one harmful substance above threshold.

Companies in scope of EU REACH must ensure substances that are subject to regulation are tracked to avoid non-compliance. Non-compliance can result in financial penalties, implementation of new auditing procedures, forced hiring of a dedicated compliance officer or ongoing inspections.

With our Assent Compliance Platform, customers can use full material disclosures (FMDs) to easily collect substance data and identify risks in the supply chain, while the REACH Module allows companies to automate specific REACH SVHC data requirements. The module is updated whenever new substances are added to REACH lists, ensuring companies are aware of evolving requirements, such as changes to the allowable BPA threshold.

To learn more about how Assent Compliance can help you identify SVHCs in your supply chain, email