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EU: European Commission adopts lower chromium VI limit in toys

may 2018 - Relevant for: toys & children's products INDUSTRY

Back to September 2017, we shared with you that the European Commission (EC) adopted a draft directive1 to lower migration limit of chromium VI in scraped-off toy materials (category 3 materials) under Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC. Later on 17 May 2018, the official amendment (Directive (EU) 2018/725)2 was finally published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and will take effect from 18 November 2019. The current and new limits are summarised in Table 1 below.

The Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) originally suggested lowering the migration limit from 0.2 mg/kg to 0.0094 mg/kg in 20153. However, the limit value is almost six times lower than the detection level in the current test method in standard EN 71-3 and the available technology may not achieve it. Considering this, EC adopted the current detection level 0.053 mg/kg in EN 71-3 as the new limit of Chromium VI for category 3 materials.

In the amendment, EC also requests to review the test method for chromium VI every 2 years to identify a possible test method that can reach the limit value suggested by SCHER. Currently, the EN 71-3 for migratable elements is under reviewing by European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and expected to be available soon with a lower detection level down to 0.0025 mg/kg. The limit of chromium VI in scraped-off materials may be further strengthened based on the upcoming new test method.

Table 1. Summary of current and new chromium VI limits in toys.

Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC

Migration Limits for chromium VI(mg/kg)

Category I
Dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable toy materials

Category 2
Liquid or sticky toy materials

Category 3
Scraped-off toy materials

Current

0.02

0.005

0.2

New

0.02

0.005

0.053


[1] EC proposes to strengthen Chromium VI limit in toys, September 2017
[2] Directive (EU) 2018/725
[3] SCHER final opinion chromium VI in toys, published 15 Jan 2015

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