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EU: scientific committee finalised opinion on the safety of Cobalt in toys

JANUARY 2023 - TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

On 9 January 2023, the European Commission Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) published a final opinion1 on the safety of cobalt in toys after assessing the inhalation, oral and dermal exposures considering the comments from the consultation2 last year.

Cobalt has been classified as carcinogenic category 1B, mutagenic category 2 and toxic for reproduction category 1B and is present in toys as an impurity in nickel and nickel-containing alloys, or cobalt may be used intentionally e.g., in cobalt-containing colourants. The SCHEER evaluated the safety of the use of cobalt in toys. Information was provided by the Toys Industries of Europe (TIE) as well as retrieved from a literature search.

Several adjustments were made to the final opinion, including, but not limited to the followings:

  • Chalks and chalk bombs were added for the assessment.
  • Plastic materials and suffocation were removed from the exposure scenarios.
  • The playtime of 7 hours per week has been clarified for toys that require setting up and preparation.
  • About oral exposure, the SCHEER clarified the behaviour of children who uses the toys in an intended or foreseeable way was considered for oral exposure and corrected migration limit values as they were 100 times lower than they should be.

 

[1] SCHEER’s final opinion on cobalt in toys

[2] Public consultation on the preliminary opinion

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