Many toys sold online in Europe contain dangerous and restricted substances
The Swedish Chemicals Agency (Kemi) has found in its latest inspection report that out of a sample of 63 toys bought online and tested, 40% contained harmful, restricted substances above allowed limit values. (Read the summary in English in the full report here).
During 2021, the agency tested 30 soft plastic toys, mostly from online sellers outside the EU and 32 electric toys bought mainly from Swedish or European based companies.
Their tests revealed illegal levels of phthalates, cadmium, lead and organic tin in six of the plastic toys. In 19 of the electric toys, different parts contained high levels of lead, cadmium, phthalates and short-chain chlorinated paraffins.
These substances may pose health risks to children and may also pose a risk to the environment when the toys become waste. One of the phthalates found in the toys was DEHP, a substance known to negatively impact male reproductive health. The substance is on the EU’s Authorisation list and its use in toys is banned. The Swedish Chemicals Agency said most online marketplaces have voluntarily now stopped selling the toys highlighted in the report.
The European Commission is in the process of reviewing its Toy Safety Directive to better protect children. According to Chemical Watch, during the last consultation on the revision, Toy Industries of Europe flagged online marketplaces selling non-compliant products as a persistent problem. CHEM Trust inputted into the current consultation with our suggestions on how the Directive could be improved to protect children from harmful chemicals. The Commission expects to make its proposal for the revision of the Directive by the end of 2022 and we hope to see our input reflected.
Read more about how to avoid harmful chemicals in baby products