01/15/2015

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Chromium(VI) determination in toys

Metrohm International



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You may deem the chance slim that mythical monsters are hiding underneath your offspring's beds. However, danger might be lurking there in the form of toy blocks, action fi gures, or crayons. Hazardous substances found in everyday items, including toys, pose a particular threat to children. Even low concentrations have the potential to cause significant harm to their small bodies - and since children don't just discover the world through their eyes and hands, but by putting things in their mouths too, they are at high risk of ingesting these substances.

New directive imposes tighter restrictions

With this in mind, national and EU-wide standards stipulate strict limit values for hazardous substances in toys. EU directive 2009/48/EC, also known as the "Toy Safety Directive", came into force on July 20, 2013, and has imposed tighter restrictions on the migration limits for some hazardous substances in toys - including the carcinogenic substance chromium(VI).

The migration limit refers to the maximum quantity of a hazardous substance that a product is permitted to release. In the new directive, it is this type of value that now replaces the limit values expressed in terms of bioavailability that were defined in the previous version. The directive draws a distinction between three types of materials used in toys: (1) dry, brittle, powder-like, or pliable materials, (2) liquid or sticky materials, and (3) scraped-off materials. Each of these groups is subject to different migration limits according to the accessibility of the hazardous substances through sucking, licking, swallowing, or prolonged skin contact.

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