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CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL E-SSENTIALS

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EU: Toy flammability standard EN 71-2 updated to 2020 version

DECEMBER 2020 - TOYS PRODUCTS

On 9 December 2020, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) published the standard EN 71-2:20201 as a result of the 5-year systematic review. All members of the CEN have to publish their national standard by 30 June 2021. The current version, EN 71-2:2011+A1:2014 continues to provide presumption of conformity to the EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC until the new version has been harmonised. 

One of the main changes made in this revision is related to toy disguise costumes. The hazard of flammable toy costumes has caught the attention of the public especially after a tragedy happened to a celebrity’s daughter in the UK a few years ago.

Highlights of the modifications to the standard are summarised below:

  • Scope
    • It has been clarified that only paper or paperboard hats without embellishments or attachments are excluded;
    • For toys intended to be entered by a child, only those that are constructed from textiles and/or polymer sheets and films are within the scope.
  • Definition 
    • Newly introduced: cleansing, flowing elements, highly flammable solid, toy disguise costume, toys intended to be entered by a child and washing; 
    • In the whole standard, “flowing elements” replaces “material with similar features” and “hair”;
    • “Highly flammable solids” replaces “materials with similar behaviour in fire as celluloid”.
  • Requirement 
    • New requirement for toy disguise costumes that contain loose stuffing which would otherwise fall out during test specimen preparation specified in the standard;
    • To clarify the test categories applicable to different types of toys to be worn on the head and toy disguise costumes, tables of pictorial examples of toys have been added;
    • New suggestions to manufacturers of toy disguise costumes on how to reduce the rate of spread of flames, including material used, design of the costumes.
  • Test method
    • Toy disguise costumes have to be tested before and after washing even if instructions state not to wash;
    • Condition of water used for washing is modified;
    • Increases testing of smaller and narrow specimens by introducing new test specimen preparation procedures (such as combined specimens, half-sized specimens) and modifying set-up of test specimen holder;
    • Soft-filled parts of toy disguise costumes are included;
    • Flow diagrams are added to give guidance on how to obtain test specimens from disguise costumes.

    Recall cases of different types of toys due to non-compliance with EN 71-2 can be found on “Safety Gate” (previously known as “RAPEX”). Commonly seen recalled toys include soft-filled toy, wig, disguise costume and mask.

    [1]  EN 71-2:2020

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