In the proposed text, appendix A of Annex II to the Toy Directive will be replaced as follows:
In toys and toy components made of stainless steel.
In toy components which are intended to conduct an electric current.
The amendment is expected to be adopted in mid 2014 and the requirements will enter into force 12 months after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Nickel is primarily used in the production of nickel-containing alloys (including stainless steel), nickel plating, the production of nickel-containing products such as batteries and welding electrodes, and the production of chemicals containing nickel. Nickel is also used in toys for its resistance to corrosion and its high electrical conductivity, for example, in wire plugs and connectors, in model railroad tracks and electric contacts in model locomotives and cars.
Nickel is classified as a CMR category 2 under Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 and thus it is normally banned in consumer products. However, nickel in stainless steel has proven to be safe and the Toy Directive currently exempts its use in toys.
Based on the assessment of the health risk from the nickel in 2012, the SCHER concluded that the use of nickel in toys allowing the correct electric function of toys will not result in a high potential for exposure by oral and dermal intake.