Danish competent authority bans phthalates and boron releasing toys

As squishy and slime toys are becoming increasingly popular among children, many EU member states have been strengthening inspections for harmful chemicals in their composition [1].

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an investigation on 18 toys bought online and found dangerous levels of chemicals in 5 of them. [2]

The Danish Agency deemed 4 toys to have a phthalate concentration so high that they could pose a serious health risk to young children up to three years with prolonged exposure.

Another toy investigated, a slime-like product, was found by the EPA to pose serious health risks to children’s health due to its content of boron.


What are phthalates and boron?

Phthalates are chemical compounds widely used as an additive, even if their use is restricted in products to be placed in the mouth, such as toys. The health risk comes from the fact that the phthalates are not chemically bound to the plastic, and they can be easily released from the product. Phthalates exposure is possibly causing endocrine-disrupting effects or impairing fertility [3].

Boron, on the other hand, is a chemical often used  in slime toys to  ensure a rubbery finish, which is deemed to pose a serious health risk to children through long-term effects.Ingestion or contact with an excessive quantity of boron may damage children’s reproductive system.


Consequences

The EPA notified the 5 non-compliant toys to RAPEX (EU Safety Gate rapid alert system for dangerous products) as not conform to the requirements of the REACH Regulation, Toy Safety Directive and the relevant European Standard EN 71-1 and EN 71-3. Although the EPA concluded that there exists no acute risk, it still demanded the retailers to recall and imposed a sales ban on those 5 toys.


Who is responsible?

Under the EU Toy Safety Directive, anyone who manufactures, imports or sells toys and childcare articles is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations. This may include proactively testing the toys and arranging agreements with suppliers to ensure that the chemical composition complies with the legal requirements.

Are you interested in placing your toy product in European Market? Obelis can help you! Do not hesitate to contact us, we will gladly assist you in making your products compliant with the EU legislation

Get in touch

Laura Menozzi

20.01.2020

Regulatory Affairs Department


[1] https://www.tuvsud.com/en/e-ssentials-newsletter/consumer-products-and-retail-essentials/e-ssentials-16-2018/squishies-and-slime-crazes-sweeping-toy-market

[2] https://mst.dk/service/nyheder/nyhedsarkiv/2019/dec/skadelige-stoffer-er-fundet-i-legetoejsprodukter-fra-udenlandske-online-butikker/

[3] https://eng.mst.dk/chemicals/chemicals-in-products/legal-framework-for-managing-chemicals/fact-sheets/fact-sheet-phthalates-in-toys-and-childcare-articles/