Choose another country to see content specific to your location

//Select Country

CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL E-SSENTIALS

Your regular update for technical and industry information

EU: Scientific Committee to investigate organic compounds emitted from squishy toys

NOVEMBER 2019 - TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

Squishy toys, also known as squeezable toys, have gained popularity among children in recent years; in light of this, the European Commission (EC) has recently issued a mandate1 to the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER), aiming to restrict certain organic compounds in squishy toys under the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.

Squishy toys can be squeezed by a child in his hands and return to its initial shape after releasing the grip. They are made of polymer foams such as polyurethane (PUR) and usually in the form of animals or food products. According to the studies done by the Danish2 and Swedish3 authorities earlier, certain organic compounds can be emitted from these toys, causing irritation to the mucous membranes of the eyes and respiratory tract. It is considered that squishies pose a risk to children as they are often sold as collectible items, and children may have many squishies in their rooms. The risks would be increased if a child sleeps with, smells or hugs these toys.

Considered that squishies can emit undesirable chemicals in quantities that may give rise to concern and additional exposure sources in playing and sleeping environment with PUR products such as mattresses and pillows, the Commission proposes to assess the Derived No Effect Level (DNEL) of the following organic compounds, aiming to derive the suitable limit values. The Scientific Committee is expected to deliver its preliminary opinion in September 2020.

Name

CAS No.

N,N-dimethylaminoethanol

108-01-0

N,N-dimethylformamide

68-12-2

Triethylendiamine

280-57-9

Bis(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl)ether

3033-62-3

1,1,4,7,7-pentamethyldiethylentriamin

3030-47-5

Cyclohexanone

108-94-1

Xylenes

1330-20-7

Dichloromethane, methylene chloride

75-09-2

After the authorities in Denmark and Sweden carried out investigation on the safety of these toys in 2018 and 2019 respectively, they have notified the rapid alert system Safety Gate (previously known as RAPEX) of the squishy toys that pose serious risk. The concerned products have been withdrawn from the market.

[1] Request for an opinion on toxicological reference values for certain organic chemicals emitted from squishy toys with regard to adopting limit values under the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC

[2] Analysis and risk assessment of fragrances and other organic substances in squishy toys carried out by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency

[3] Enforcement of squishies by the Swedish Chemicals Agency

Next Steps

Select Your Location

Global

Americas

Asia

Europe

Middle East and Africa