New thresholds for carcinogenic PAHs in (baby) toys and more

rubber ducksClick to enlarge
Very strict PAH thresholds are in effect for toys and baby products.
Source: debramillet / Fotolia.com

Since 27 December 2015 consumer goods may no longer exceed a very low content of eight carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). A threshold of 0.5 mg/kg applies for toys and baby items. Other rubber or plastic products such as gardening gloves or mouse pads may contain no more than 1 mg/kg.

Annex XVII of the European REACH Regulation provides the basis for the new thresholds which are valid across the EU and are also applicable for imported goods from other countries. PAHs can be present in consumer goods when certain oils from petroleum and coke refining are added as softeners to rubbers and plastics. They can be absorbed through the skin when these products are used. Our newly updated background paper explains how to avoid PAHs in daily life.