Dangerous levels of phthalates found in 25% of toys made in China

28 September 2010 13:00  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Tests carried out on a sample of toys made in China found that around a quarter contained dangerous levels of phthalates, breaching EU and US chemical content regulations, Hong Kong-based quality control company AsiaInspection said on Tuesday.

The company said that over the past two months it had conducted standard phthalate content tests on 35 randomly selected Chinese-made plastic toys destined for European and American markets.

“Approximately 25% of these toys were found to contain dangerous levels of phthalates such as ethylhexyl, consequently not conforming to EU and US chemical content regulations such as CPSIA and REACH Annex XVII,” said AsiaInspection.

It added that in one case, a toy first aid kit was found to contain more than 130 times the allowable limit of phthalates under Reach regulations.

“Results like these make it clear that toy importers buying from China and Greater Asia take the greatest risk with children, the most vulnerable consumers,” said AsiaInspection.

Phthalates are chemical compounds used primarily to enhance the flexibility and durability of plastics like plasticised polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Research has shown that at high levels of exposure, the toxicological properties of phthalates present a risk of cancer and can lead to adult infertility.

These chemicals are being phased out of toys in the United States through the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) regulation, Canada, and the EU through the Reach regulation on chemicals and their safe use.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said earlier this year that it was stepping up its efforts under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to regulate harmful chemicals and disseminate more information on the TSCA inventory list.

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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214

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