NOVEMBER 2019 - TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS
Squishy toys, also known as squeezable toys, have gained popularity among children in recent years; in light of this, the European Commission (EC) has recently issued a mandate to the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER), aiming to restrict certain organic compounds in squishy toys under the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.
Squishy toys can be squeezed by a child in his hands and return to its initial shape after releasing the grip. They are made of polymer foams such as polyurethane (PUR) and usually in the form of animals or food products. According to the studies done by the Danish and Swedish authorities earlier, certain organic compounds can be emitted from these toys, causing irritation to the mucous membranes of the eyes and respiratory tract. It is considered that squishies pose a risk to children as they are often sold as collectible items, and children may have many squishies in their rooms. The risks would be increased if a child sleeps with, smells or hugs these toys.
Considered that squishies can emit undesirable chemicals in quantities that may give rise to concern and additional exposure sources in playing and sleeping environment with PUR products such as mattresses and pillows, the Commission proposes to assess the Derived No Effect Level (DNEL) of the following organic compounds, aiming to derive the suitable limit values. The Scientific Committee is expected to deliver its preliminary opinion in September 2020.
| Name|| CAS No.|
| N,N-dimethylaminoethanol|| 108-01-0|
| N,N-dimethylformamide|| 68-12-2|
| Triethylendiamine|| 280-57-9|
| Bis(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl)ether|| 3033-62-3|
| 1,1,4,7,7-pentamethyldiethylentriamin|| 3030-47-5|
| Cyclohexanone|| 108-94-1|
| Xylenes|| 1330-20-7|
|Dichloromethane, methylene chloride||75-09-2|
After the authorities in Denmark and Sweden carried out investigation on the safety of these toys in 2018 and 2019 respectively, they have notified the rapid alert system Safety Gate (previously known as RAPEX) of the squishy toys that pose serious risk. The concerned products have been withdrawn from the market.