The Commission of the European Union (EU) has amended its regulations on the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals (REACH) to address lead content in items that could be placed in the mouths of children.
Published in the Official Journal of the European Union in April 2015, Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/628 amends Annex XVII of the original REACH Regulation (EC No 1907/2006), restricting to not greater than 0.05 percent by weight the concentration of lead in products that include small or detachable parts that could be mouthed by children under reasonably foreseeable conditions. The Regulation exempts certain product types from the scope of this requirements, including jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones and musical instruments.
Also exempt from the Regulation are products where the rate of lead released from a product or accessible part of a product does not exceed 0,05 μg/cm2 per hour and, for coated articles, in cases where the coating is sufficient to ensure that this release rate is not exceeded for a period of two years under normal use.
The new Regulation applies to articles placed on the market for the first time from June 1, 2016.