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Public Health (10-02-2015)

Final Opinion on Chromium VI in toys

The European Commission and its non-food Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) have published their final Opinion assessing the safety levels of chromium VI in toys.

Strict limits on the migration levels of 17 elements, including chromium VI, have long been in place through the EU Toy Safety Directive, and the CE label on toys guarantees that they meet some of the strictest safety regulations in the world.

In its Opinion, the SCHER concludes that the current migration limits for chromium VI from toys should be revised downwards and be based on a lower value. This ‘safe dose’ has been determined on the basis of new scientific studies.

The SCHER acknowledges that the proposed migration limits are conservative and may not be achievable for certain toy materials. The Committee also points out that detection methods for chromium VI migration are affected by limitations and may not be sufficiently sensitive.

The Opinion emphasizes that children are a vulnerable subgroup for exposure to chromium VI. Considering that children’s exposure limits to chromium VI may already have been reached through drinking water, air and other sources, any additional exposure to chromium VI from toys should be minimised to the lowest achievable levels using the best available technology.

In addition to metal toys, chromium VI can be found in also in leather, wood and fabric toys. Consumers are advised to look for the CE label to guarantee that all migration limits, including chromium VI, are fully respected and that the product is safe.