The European Commission have published a Regulation which amends Annex XVII of the REACH Regulations, and places restrictions on Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in toys and childcare articles.
The regulation specifically covers the following PAHs:
- Benzo[k]fluoranthene; and
Toys and childcare articles, containing any of these PAHs at concentrations greater than 0.5 mg/kg in their accessible plastic or rubber parts, will no longer be allowed to placed on the market.
In addition, sport equipment such as bicycles, golf clubs, racquets — household utensils, trolleys, walking frames — tools for domestic use — clothing, footwear, gloves and sportswear — watch-straps, wrist-bands, masks, head-bands containing any of the above PAHs at concentrations greater than 1.0mg/kg will also no longer be allowed to placed on the market.
This new regulation means that laboratories need to be able to both identify and quantify these PAHs at the specified levels. The regulation does draw attention to “the availability and reliability of testing methods should also be considered”. One point which does need to be highlighted concerns the availability of these PAHs from the products listed, and the testing methods used for them. It does not seem clear whether the TOTAL concentration of PAHs should be measured, or the AVAILABLE concentration of PAHs, i.e. that which can migrate from the article onto the skin under normal conditions of use. This is something which requires attention from the appropriate authorities to provide clarity and logic.
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