Brussels – plasticizers, poisons, small parts: At the beginning of the pre-holiday season, environmental and consumer protection groups warn of dangerous children’s toys.
“The most problematic toys are plastic ones,” said Tatiana Santos of the European Environment Office (EEB) on Thursday in Brussels. China, in particular, has a lot of toys with chemicals that are harmful to health. MEPs expect the new EU Commission to act quickly.
According to the environmental association EEB, based on information from the Europe-wide rapid alert system for dangerous products (Rapex), around 250 toy models were withdrawn from the market in the course of the year after tests had shown questionable chemical concentrations.
According to the European consumer association Beuc, the problematic products in Germany include dolls and action figures. There were questionable colored pencils in Italy and balloons discovered by consumer organizations in Denmark.
Via Rapex, individual countries can exchange information about dangerous goods, which can then be taken from the entire EU market. According to Rapex, a good 45 percent of all cases recorded in the current year involved risks due to chemicals contained. The main focus was on phthalates – plasticizers used in plastics. In addition to harmful chemicals, toys with a risk of suffocation played a role. 11 percent of the cases also concerned batteries that were too easily accessible.
Beyond the problem cases recorded, environmentalists are concerned about the possible number of unreported cases. “Where inspectors get the resources they need, they do an excellent job,” said EEB chemicals expert Santos. However, the question was how many toxic toys would come into the EU unnoticed.
In this context, Beuc also warned against rash online purchases. Customers are advised to avoid products that are not labeled. When shopping from Chinese websites, electronic devices, clothing, or 12 Awesome Toys & Gifts for 9 Year Old Boys in 2020 | Medium toys that are disproportionately cheap should also be avoided, said Beuc spokesman Laurens Rutten.