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EU Toy Industry Would Support Lower Lead Limit Values

Chemical Watch's interview with Alexandra Caterbow, WECF coordinator for chemicals and health

19.03.2012 | Chemical Watch



On the 20th of February, 2012, Chemical Watch published an interview with Alexandra Caterbow, WECF coordinator for chemicals and health, on the new toy safety Directive in the EU.

Please, read the article below or on the Chemical Watch website.

EU Toy Industry Would Support Lower Lead Limit Values

20-Feb-2012


The EU toy industry has said it would support a lowering of the limits for lead in toys following the launch of a consultation on the revision of the limit values for the heavy metal by the European Commission last week.

According to Catherine van Reeth, director general of Toy Industries of Europe (TIE), industry "supports the lowering of limits for lead in toys because this is in response to new scientific evidence". She said that "the toy industry will comply with any legislation based on scientific evidence," but admitted that "we are concerned that a drastic reduction of the limits would result in a de facto ban of toys such as finger paints, chalks and crayons because certain raw materials have naturally-occurring traces of lead, while the level of safety would not increase substantially."

Alexandra Caterbow, coordinator for chemicals and health at the NGO Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), told Chemical Watch that her organisation will be contributing to the consultation and that the limit values must be drastically reduced. In the new toy safety Directive, lead is authorised within a limit of 160mg/kg compared to 90mg/kg by the former directive, notes the WECF. "It is a real scandal that the new Directive allows more lead in toys than the old one," says Ms Caterbow. "It is not enough to reduce the limits to the old level, a new approach should go beyond that." She comments that "we all know that lead has very negative effects, even in very low doses, on the developing brain and the hormone system, and is carcinogenic. These adverse health effects are long known and scientifically documented. Lead should have been banned in toys a long time ago."


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