Consultation on Chromium (VI) in toys launched by European Commission by Nick Boley
August 5, 2014, 10:08
Filed under: EU Information, EU Regulation/Legislation, Toys | Tags: , ,

The European Commission has launched a consultation regarding the levels of chromium (VI) in toys, following publication of a preliminary opinion from the Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (Scher) about the safe limits of this toxic form of chromium in toys, taking into account many factors which add risk to products.

The preliminary opinion has considered that the current limits for chromium (VI) in toys should be revised downwards to 0.0094 mg/kg for scraped-off materials (previously 0.2), 0.0008 mg/kg for dry, powder-like or pliable materials (0.02) and 0.0002 mg/kg for liquids or sticky materials (0.005).

If these limits are revised downwards, it is important that analytical measurements can be accurately and precisely made at these very low levels. Methods have been developed which are able to measure chromium (VI) at the current levels; further development would be needed in order to measure accurately at the proposed levels which are approximately 2 orders of magnitude lower.

Work funded under the Government Chemist Programme advisory function on determining chromium (VI) at very low levels in water using HPLC-ICP-MS has demonstrated that it is possible to achieve both accuracy and precision at levels of 0.02 µg/L (equivalent to 0.00002 mg/kg).  To further develop this approach for toys would therefore depend on validating a suitable extraction process which maintains the integrity of chromium in its +6 oxidation state (which is not a trivial undertaking) whilst ensuring any resulting solution contains chromium (VI) at an appropriate concentration for measurement.


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