Safety of Toys

The members of the VdMi are integrated at different levels in the manufacturing of toy articles. The manufacturers of artist colours traditionally sell painting/drawing sets which are also defined as toys. The pigment manufacturers, as well as the manufacturers of masterbatches deliver raw materials or mixtures for the colouring of toys or parts thereof.

  • Toys per definition of directive  2009/48/EC are products, designed or intended, whether or not exclusively, for use in play by children under 14 years of age

Toy safety has not merely become a topic since the introduction of the new “Toys Safety directive 2009/48/EU, but has always been a much discussed topic. Following the implementation of the new “Toy Safety Directive" which increased the number of applicable chemical elements from 8 to 19, but also reduced the critical limits considerably, there has been much discussion on how to maintain and control the new limits. Compared to its predecessor directive the migration limits have been lowered substantially. The new directive was introduced with the intention to reduce the exposure of children to these chemical elements. Since the limit values have been solely determined from statistical data linked to human health there are some implications for readily available natural materials, such as potters clay, which although has been used for many years contains natural levels of lead which are no longer permitted for use in the manufacture of toys.

Setting new limits for consumer products is only the first step for implementing a new directive. The second and even more important part is the definition of standardized testing procedures. Without these procedures neither the manufacturers of toys nor their suppliers nor the authorities will be able to confirm compliance with the new requirements.  Therefore the revision of the standard EN 71 “Safety of Toys” and its subpart EN71-3 “Migration of certain elements” plays a major role for the manufacturers of toys.
However, the challenges in daily business for our members are manifold. The VdMi has therefore addressed this subject within a position paper on the use of pigments in toy materials.

Link to "pigments in toys"