Shopping for Christmas present for children? Beware of the inherent risk of toys! TUV Rheinland announces some toy safety standards to guide parents on purchasing their children dream toys during this holiday season.
The Rapid Exchange of Information System (RAPEX) is EU rapid alert system for unsafe consumer products and consumer protection. As of 20th November 2015, according to their weekly RAPEX alert notification, a total of 409 RAPEX notifications had been issued on toys from different EU countries. Out of this number, China received the most notification with a total of 368 notifications, followed by Spain with 81 notifications, Czech Republic with 40 notifications, and France with 34 notifications.
From among all the notifications on toys, chemical and choking are the top risks. There were a total of 178 notifications reported with chemical risks and 162 on choking hazards risks.
Di (2-etylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), restricted in all toys and childcare articles according to REACH Regulation, has become the major chemical risk in toys. There was a China-made plastic doll set that tested to have contain DEHP 54.1% by weight the highest amount measured from toys. This number far exceed the allowed phthalate limit in the EU which is only 0.1%.
TUV Rheinland advises parents to be make sure that the children’s’ toys are not small enough to constitute a choking hazard and that they cannot break apart into small dangerous pieces. Soft toys, dolls and toy guns that contain small parts must strictly adhere to requirements of the Toy Safety Directive and relevant regulations as small children may choke while putting small parts into in his or her mouth.
TUV Rheinland further advises that toys with bright colors might contain high lead or cadmium content. Second, soft plastic toys require high attention as they might contain a high level of phthalate which would interferes with the endocrine system.
Parents are further advised to check the safety certification. According to safety standards in most of the developed countries, all toys must acquire required safety certifications before they are sold in the market. Some toy manufacturers apply for the “Toy Proof” certification from TUV Rheinland, the world’s leading provider of inspection, testing and certification services. Products with this kind of certifications are safer as compared to products featured with basic safety marks only.
Next TUV Rheinland advises that parents should pay close attention to safety warning labels on toys. Usually there is a leaflet or instruction for the users which tells consumers the presence of choking hazards and any items which may harm. Parents are advised to check the leaflet and read the instruction carefully before giving the toys to their kids.
Based on the tests carried out by TUV Rheinland toys from established reputable toy companies are safer. From their testing it is found that samples from large brand-name toy companies rarely have excessively high levels of hazardous substances.
Christmas is a season of gift-giving season that is full of pleasant surprises. Have a Safe, Healthy and Happy Christmas!