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The Toy Safety Directive: not yet implemented, but again under criticism


14 Dec 2010


Health & Consumers

The revised European Toy Safety Directive (2009/48/EC), adopted only last year, is once again under criticism. Tonight, on the occasion of a Parliamentary Question, the European Parliament will demand a response from the European Commission on the calculation method chosen to regulate the use of CMR (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic and/or toxic to Reproduction) chemical substances in toys.

Regrettably, from the date of its full implementation in July 2013, the revised Directive will still permit the use of CMR substances, provided that concentration limits based on thresholds used for the classification of chemical mixtures are complied with. However, as the SCHER[1] opinion[2] recognised, these (high) limits can’t be considered as safe values.

This is why ANEC and BEUC call for a revision of the Toy Safety Directive and for a radical change of approach. Future rules on CMR substances should aim to get rid of these substances. Consumer organisations ask for a dynamic migration test that will take into account the usual child behaviour of licking or sucking - at least for toys intended for children under 36 months. Test methods should also use levels of detection as low as technically achievable. Many other improvements are also necessary including a lower limit for lead and the possibility to impose restrictions for substances of concern such as allergens or endocrine disrupters.

Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC declared:

“We are relieved to see MEPs keep up the pressure on the European Commission on CMR in toys. The Directive revised in 2009 clearly lacks ambition: current limits for CMR and heavy metals are inadequate, many potentially dangerous chemicals such as hormonal disrupters are not covered, toys for the most vulnerable children (under 3 years) are not independently tested.

“ANEC has called on legislators from around the world to work towards improving the safety of toys. Sadly, Europe still needs to get its own house in order and the revised Toy Safety Directive needs further strengthening if our most vulnerable consumers are to receive the level of protection to which they should be entitled. Once again, the EU can’t guarantee safe toys for Christmas” added Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary General.”




B E U C - Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs - The European Consumers’ Organisation

rue d’Arlon 80  B-1040 Bruxelles,  Tél: (+32-2) 789 24 01,  Fax: (+32-2) 740.28.02  -

A N E C - The European Consumer Voice in Standardisation

Av. de Tervueren 32, box 27 , B-1040 Bruxelles, Tél.: (+32-2) 743.24.70, Fax: (+32-2)706.54.30     -  


Ophélie Spanneut (BEUC) +32 (0)2 789 24 01

Stephen Russell (ANEC) +32 (0)2 743 24 70


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