Friday 26 November 2010

WECF Toys Conference in Paris

WECF France organised a conference in Paris about "toys and hazardous chemicals: exploring solutions". REACH and the substitution of chemicals of concern were in the focus of the attending European experts. Topics such as consumer protection, good practices and incentive measures were discussed.
It took place November 18th 2010.

You can read more about it on the WECF webpage.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Germany wants stricter rules on toys safety

The revised toy safety directive adopted in 2009 will fail tp preotect children's health, German economy minister Rainer Brüderle said in October 2010. Germany will lobby for a thightening of limits for chemicals befote the rules become effective.

The federal risk assessment institute BfR has repeatedly warned of loopholes in the new European rules. Germany now wants to strengthen restrictions on heavy metals, allergenic substances and carcarcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotxic (CMR) substances.

As a first step towards new European rules an expert group on chemicals in the toys safety directive will be created.

At the same time, Germany's product testing group Stiftung Warentest revealed that two thrids of a sample of 50 toys testes by the organisation contained high concentrations of chemicals such as formaldehyde and heavy metals. Seven of the 50 products should not have been on the market at all.

This emphasises the importance of realiable labels to enable an informed consumers choice. The CE label only stands for compliance wir existing EU product safety rues. Toys, however, do not yet have to comply with the revised toy safety directive.

Saturday 6 November 2010

Toys Conference in Berlin - when toys make you sick!

Together with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung WECF organised a conference on the safety of toys. When toys make sick - risks for small consumers, the responsibility of politics and economy.

Chemicals, which are toxic for adults, are even more dangerous for children. Quite a few regulations try to protect children from these effects. The European Toys Directive was therefore updated in 2008 to cater for new technological developments and other important factors. But the experts are still discussing if the limits are low enough to cater for the needs of the small consumers and if the Directive really covers al hazardous substances in toys.