In June 2014, the European Commission (EC) published Directives 2014/79/EU and 2014/81/EU amending Appendix C of Annex II to the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC (TSD). To further protect children’s health from hazardous chemicals in toys, the EC has decided to set specific limits for bisphenol A (BPA), the flame retardant Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP) and its halogenated alternatives, Tris(2-chloro-1-methylethyl)phosphate (TCPP) and (Tris[2-chloro-1-(chloromethyl)ethyl]phosphate) (TDCP).
The new amendments will apply from 21 December 2015 in toys for children under 3 years old or toys intended to be placed in the mouth. Highlights of the new amendments are summarised in Table A.
BPA is an essential raw material in manufacturing of polycarbonate (PC) plastics, which is widely used in the production of consumer products, including toys. The current migration limit under the TSD was taken from EN 71-9, which is applied voluntarily among the toy industry to ensure that there is no unsafe exposure from BPA in toys.
TCEP is a phosphate ester used as flame retardant plasticisers in polymers. It has been widely used in the building, furniture and textile industries. Although the production of TCEP in EU has been in decline since 2001, the presence of TCEP in imported toys cannot be excluded. In 2012, the EC requested the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) to provide an opinion on the health effect of TCEP in toys, as well as the appropriateness of the TSD’s generic limits for TCEP. The EC accepted the recommendation by the SCHER that the limit on TCEP in toys be set at the detection limit of a sufficiently sensitive analytical method.
Table A. A summary of the new specific limits of BPA and three flame retardants under the TSD.
BPA (CAS No. 80-05-7)
0.1 mg/l (migration limit) in accordance with the methods laid down in EN 71-10 and EN 71-11