Moving to act on a recommendation from the Commission of the European Union (EU), the EU Council has adopted a modification to the EU’s Directive on the safety of toys (2009/48/EC) that will significantly reduce allowable lead content.
In a Notice published in April in the Official Journal of the European Union, the Council referenced scientific research conducted after the original Directive was adopted in 2009, including studies conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the European Chemicals Agency’s Committee for Risk Assessment. Both agencies called for the adoption of lead content limits based on the benchmark dose limit (BMDL) related to potential neurodevelopmental effects.
As a result, the new lead limits for toys or component of toys are being significantly reduced to 2.0 mg/kg, 0.5 mg/kg and 23 mg/kg for lead in dry, liquid or scraped-off toy material respectively.
The new lead content limits applicable to toys take effect on October 28, 2018. EU Member States have until that date to adopt the new lead content levels into their respective national laws and regulations.