Restricted limit values for PAH in consumer goods

Bicycle handleClick to enlarge
Bicycle handles can also contain PAH
Source: Jens Kernchen /

The EU Commission has adopted an addendum to the REACH Regulation which establishes limit values for eight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH).

After 2015, consumer goods may only contain up to 1 mg/kg of one of the eight carcinogenic PAHs. The limit value in toys and baby items is 0.5 mg/kg.

Importers will also have to comply with these limit values since toys, mouse pads, baby items, tool and bicycle handles, bathing shoes or plastic and rubber sports gear can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). The PAH which give rise for concern are those which are proven to be carcinogenic as they are mutagenic or can impair reproduction. They are very persistent in the environment and can accumulate in the human body or other organisms in the environment. Even normal use of products can release PAH to the body via the skin, mouth or lungs. Products which contain PAH unfortunately cannot be detected by their appearance. However, if they clearly smell unpleasant, let the buyer beware. Articles which contain PAH should be removed from the household. Make use of your consumer right to information and enter the number on the product bar code in the online ⁠REACH⁠ query form.

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 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons  EU Commission  EU limit value  consumer good  toys