EU - EN 71-7 Revised to Support Toys Safety Directive 2009-48-EC

Vol. 770 | June 04, 2014

EN 71-7, the European finger paints toys safety standard EN 71-7 has now been revised in support of the new Toys Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.  The many changes to EN 71-7 are as follows.

  • New impurity limits and test methods have been introduced:
  • Finger paints that include colourants containing chlorine or manufactured in chlorinated solvents:
    • Polychlorinated biphenyls:  2 mg/kg
    • Hexachlorobenzene:  5 mg/kg
  • Finger paints containing carbon black:
    • Benzo(a)pyrene:  0.05 mg/kg
  • Embittering agents – Sucrose octaacetate has been deleted.  However denatonium benzoate and naringin are still permitted embittering agents.
  • Preservatives – There are several changes:
    • Benzyl alcohol has been deleted from the list of permitted preservatives.
    • The following preservatives are now permitted, per the following maximum concentrations:
      • Pyrithione zinc:  0.5 %
      • Chorobutanol:  0.5 %
      • 2-methylisothiazol-3(2H)-one (MIT):  0.01 %
      • Pentane-1,5-dial (glutaraldehyde, glutaral):  0.1 %
    • The maximum concentration of the mixture of 5-chloro-2-methyl-isothiazol-3(2H)-one and 2-methylisothiazol-3(2H)-one with magnesium chloride and magnesium nitrate has been reduced to 0.000 8 % (of a mixture in the ratio 3:1 of 5-chloro-2-methylisothiazol-3(2H)-one and 2-methylisothiazol-3 (2H)-one) [Reduced from 0.001 5 %]
  • N-nitrosamines and N-nitrosatable substances in finger paints are restricted per EN 71-12:2013.  That is, the sum of all N-nitrosamines shall not exceed 0.02 mg/kg, while the limit for the sum of all N-nitrosatable substances is 1 mg/kg.

N-nitrosamines may be formed in finger paints under certain acidic conditions if they include N-nitrosatable substances (e.g. secondary amines) and a nitrosating agent (e.g. nitrite).  For example, N-nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA) can be produced if diethanolamine (DEA, a secondary amine), or even triethanolamine which could decompose to DEA, is present with certain preservatives such as bronopol (nitrite source).

  • Colourants – Purity requirements have been added for many colourants commonly used in finger paints.
  • EN 71-3:2013 has replaced the previous standard’s migration of certain elements requirements.
  • Finger paints shall not be classified as hazardous mixtures, which are now defined per Hazard Classes 3.1 to 3.10 of the EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP) Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008.
  • The permitted pH value range has been extended to between pH 4.0 and 10.0 to accommodate the use of calcium carbonate along with dilution of the finger paint with tap water.
  • Finger paint containers shall not imitate food, per requirements that are more stringent than the EU Food Imitations Directive 87/357/EEC.
  • Labelling − Finger paints supplied in powder form shall additionally bear the following warning:

“Warning. Mix with water in accordance with the instructions before giving to a child.”

Should you have any queries on the above information, please contact: Richard Smith, tel: +44 (0)116 263 9620 / fax: +44 (0)116 282 4586 / e-mail:,


Related topics: 2014 | 2014 | Toys and Childrens Products | Toys and Childrens Products