Children are sensitive to harmful substances but not all products that our little ones come into contact with are free of chemicals posing a health hazard. Phenol for example: The colorless, crystalline substance is used by industry particularly for the manufacture of plastics. It can occur in PVC, resin bonded wood or be used as a preservative in liquid toy materials such as: soap bubble liquids and water-based inks. It is highly toxic, causes damage to organs and is suspected of being germ cell mutagenized.
To protect children the European Commission has amended the Toy Directive 2009/48/EC and set new limits for the use of phenol in toys.
According to Annex II Appendix C of the Directive, the following limits will apply in the future:
- 5 mg/l (migration limit) in polymeric materials in accordance with the methods as per EN 71-10:2005 and EN 71-11:2005
- 10 mg/kg (content limit) as a preservative based on the methods as per EN 71-10:2005 and EN 71-11:2005
The limits must be applied as of November 4, 2018.