Requirements concerning the safety of consumer goods and other products are constantly changing due to the advancement of scientific knowledge and its implementation by legislative bodies. Hermes Hansecontrol ensures that you are up-to-date on all current topics. You can also find current information on projects by Hermes Hansecontrol here.

News from January 2019

Phthalates are ever-present as plasticizers in plastic materials, cosmetics, medication, or toys. They can, for example, be absorbed through food and by inhaling air and dust indoors or also enter the bloodstream directly via the skin. In order to rule out risks to human health, the use of phthalates shall be further restricted.

Back in April 2018, we reported on a draft to amend the REACh Chemical Regulation with respect to phthalates in consumer products. This draft has now been adopted by the Commission and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 18 December 2018.

It contains regulatory content for the handling of phthalates bis(2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), which are classified as toxic to reproduction. Just like the phthalates DEHP, DBP, and BBP for plasticized material in toys and baby products, DIBP is also being included in Annex XVII of the REACh Regulation.

Consumer products, which contain plasticized materials, will also be covered by Entry 51 in this Annex now. As of July 7 2020, both toys, baby products, and consumer products containing DEHP, DBP, BBP, and DIBP in concentrations of 0.1 per cent – individually or in total – must no longer be distributed. “Plasticized materials” are defined in greater detail (examples: PVC, PVA, and other polymers, except for polyolefins; rubber, except for silicon rubber; foams; coatings; printing inks). Furthermore, a number of exceptions apply, for example, to materials and items in contact with food, medical equipment or electric and electronic devices.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your respective sales representative in the sales department or our customer competence center at the phone number +49(0)40 300 33 73 - 7310 or by e-mail.

To protect our youngest consumers as effectively as possible, the EU Commission has once again proposed more stringent limits for substances in toys, which are potentially hazardous to health. This includes, among other things, aluminum. Legal restrictions already apply to the migration of the metal from toy materials. Based on a new classification by the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER), however, changes are now planned. According to the planned regulation, which could take effect at the end of 2020, the previous migration limits in Part III of the Annex II to the Toy Directive 2009/48/EC will decrease as follows:

MaterialCurrent LimitProposed Limit
in dry, brittle, powdery, or pliable toy materials5,625 mg/kg2,250 mg/kg
in liquid or adhesive toy materials1,406 mg/kg560 mg/kg
in scraped-off toy materials70,000 mg/kg28,130 mg/kg

The chemical compound of formaldehyde is classified as a category 1B carcinogenic substance. It is used, among other things, in polymer materials, in adhesive components, in resin bonded wood (for example, MDF, HDF boards) as a preservative and in the manufacture of textiles, leather, and paper. In December 2018, the EU commission published a draft amending the Toy Directive 2009/48/EC. According to which, limits for formaldehyde are to be adopted in Appendix II of Annex C to the Directive. The new regulation applies to toys intended for small children under three years of age as well as other toys intended to be put in the mouth.

MaterialProposed Limit
Polymers1.5 mg/L (migration)
Resin-bonded wood0.1 ml/m³ (emission)
Textile30 mg/kg (total concentration)
Leather30 mg/kg (total concentration)
Paper30 mg/kg (total concentration)
Aqueous material10 mg/kg (total concentration)

The new planned regulations are based on the requirements of EN 71-9, but the limits for polymers and aqueous materials have been set somewhat lower. For wood materials, testing no longer has to be conducted in accordance with EN 717-3 (flask method), but rather in accordance with EN 717-1 (test chamber method) in the future. The draft is set to be adopted in the second quarter of 2019; the new regulation could take effect at the end of 2020.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your respective sales representative in the sales department or our customer competence center at the phone number +49(0)40 300 33 73 - 7310 or by e-mail.

Children’s clothing should be convenient, functional, and attractive. In order to meet these requirements, designers often use cords, drawstrings, and fashionable fasteners. What appeals to the eye and serves a purpose may, however, quickly pose a potential risk. Bands that get caught in bike spokes, cords whose ends get stuck in merry-go-rounds – it is not uncommon for such parts of clothing to cause falls and injuries. Drawstrings around the neck are even more dangerous and can, in the worst case, result in strangulation.

The standard DIN EN 14682 harmonized the regulations for the use of cords and bands in clothing for children up to 14 years of age. However, articles of clothing and accessories, which do not fall under the applicable domain of the standard, must be inspected with respect to their risk potential and handled accordingly. Otherwise, serious sanctions may apply: The German Product Safety Act stipulates that product managers on every production level can be held legally responsible if their products fail to comply with the safety requirements and cause accidents as a result.

Our seminar Product Safety of Children’s Clothing on March 21, 2019 in Hamburg provides detailed information about the application of DIN EN 14682 and possible solutions for implementation on a company level. Furthermore, you will also learn strategies for assessing risks, for example, relating to small parts that can be swallowed. You can also exchange experience and get answers to your questions that arise in everyday practice.

Here you will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation (only in German). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by calling +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 13 30 or by sending an email.

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