toys, Synthetic fibres, natural latex and naphthalene-treated materials

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Germany: AfPS releases new GS PAH specification

OCTOBER 2019 - Relevant for: ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, TOYS AND children's products

The German Product Safety Commission (AfPS) has recently revised the GS specification for PAHs to 2019 version.

The updated document AfPS GS 2019:01 PAK1 published by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) will take effect from 1st July 2020, and will repeal the current 2014 version from 30th June 2020.

Highlights of the changes are summarized as below:

  • The total number of PAHs is reduced from 18 to 15, as 3 PAHs are removed from the list (acenaphthylene, acenaphthene, fluorene);
  • Categorisation updated:
    • Category 1 now includes articles used by children up to three years old;
    • Category 2a and 3a expand the scope from “toys” to “any products used by children under 14”;
  • Synthetic fibres, natural latex and naphthalene-treated materials are newly listed as the examples of materials which PAH contaminants could be found;
  • In addition to inaccessible materials, components that are rarely and only briefly accessible during simple maintenance do not require testing;

Here are the new PAH requirements:

 
Parameter 
Category 1 Category 2
Category 3
Materials intended
to be put in the mouth, or materials in toys according to Directive 2009/48/EC or materials in articles for used by children up to three years with long-term skin contact (longer than 30 second) under intended use
(mg/kg)


Materials not covered by category 1, with long-term skin contact (longer than 30 seconds) or repeated 
short-term skin contact under intended or foreseeable use
Materials not covered by category 1 or 2, with short-term skin contact (up to 30 seconds) under intended or foreseeable use
a.
Used by children
(mg/kg)
b.
Other consumer products
(mg/kg) 
a.
Used by children
(mg/kg)
b.
Other consumer products
(mg/kg)
Benzo[a]pyrene < 0.2 < 0.2
< 0.5
< 0.5   < 1
Benzo[a]anthracene < 0.2
< 0.2
< 0.5 < 0.5  < 1
Benzo[b]fluoranthene
< 0.2
< 0.2
< 0.5 < 0.5  < 1
Benzo[j]fluoranthene
< 0.2
< 0.2
< 0.5
< 0.5   < 1
Benzo[k]fluoranthene
< 0.2
< 0.2
< 0.5
< 0.5
 < 1
Chrysene
< 0.2
< 0.2
< 0.5
< 0.5
 < 1
Dibenzo[a,h]anthracene  < 0.2
< 0.2
< 0.5
< 0.5
 < 1
Benzo[ghi]perylene < 0.2
< 0.2
< 0.5
< 0.5
 < 1
lndeno[1‚2,3-cd]pyrene
< 0.2
< 0.2
< 0.5
< 0.5
 < 1
Phenanthrene, Pyrene, Anthracene, Fluoranthene
< 1 (sum) < 5 (sum) < 10 (sum)  < 20 (sum) < 50 (sum)
Naphthalene
< 1 < 2 < 10
Sum 15 PAH
< 1 < 5 < 10 < 20 < 50

This revision is published after the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) released its recommendation2 on PAH levels in August this year. From the point of view of BfR, the GS mark, which is a voluntary German certification mark regulated in the Product Safety Act (ProdSG), should be based on the lowest possible PAH levels in order to reduce consumers’ exposure to PAHs. BfR therefore recommends a reduction of limit value to 0.2 mg/kg for products in category 2 as it considers this level as generally technically feasible in all common plastics according to the measurement data from different testing institutes.

[1] AfPS GS 2019:01 PAK (only German version is available)

[2] BfR recommendation on PAH levels in consumer products


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