WECF: EU rules on toys too weak

Campaign partner Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) recently higlighted the need to have full disclosure of ingredients (as with cosmetics) for toys, as well as stricter laws that apply the precautionary principle, with zero tolerance for harmful chemicals.

Parents are more and more concerned about not knowing which harmful substances are found in toys, and that policy makers and industry are not doing enough to protect their children’s health.

The new chemical requirements of the EU toy safety Directive have been in force since July 2013 giving the EU the chance to really protect children from hazardous chemicals when the Directive was reviewed in 2009. However, they only went half way.

Toys are part of children’s daily life and therefore they should by safe. As children have developing organs, rapid metabolisms, thinner skin and immature immune systems, as well as specific behaviours, they are more vulnerable than adults to chemicals of concern. Banning harmful substances from toys is necessary to protect children from possible long-term and irreversible health effects.

The revised chemical requirements of the Directive are a slight improvement from the previous version when it comes to the use of carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances (CMRs). But unfortunately, the new Directive does not ban them from toys.

The Directive lags behind technical feasibility and existing EU rules on CMRs in other sectoral regulations, such as those covering food contact materials. It is still too weak and needs to be strengthened by banning all CMRs from use in toys. Children should not be exposed to such substances when playing with toys.

Post provided by campaign partner WECF