EU – New Requirements for Chemicals under the Toys Safety Directive

Vol. 784 | September 03, 2014

The European Union (EU) has published three Directives 2014/79/EU, 2014/81/EU and 2014/84/EU in the Official Journal, amending the Toys Safety Directive 2009/48/EC, to introduce new restrictions on three flame retardants (TCEP, TCPP and TDCP) along with bisphenol A (BPA), and permit the use of nickel in certain toy materials.

EU Member States are required to implement these new requirements from 1 July 2015 for the use of nickel and from 21 December 2015 for the flame retardants and BPA restrictions.

Permitted Uses of Nickel

Metallic nickel (CAS No 744-02-0) is commonly found in such consumer products as metal alloys, including many stainless steels and nickel plating. However, as nickel is classified as carcinogenic (category 2), per the EU Toys Safety Directive would be banned in toys as metallic nickel and tightly restricted to 1% in alloys and other mixtures (far below the nickel content of many stainless steel alloys).

However, an assessment by the EU’s Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) has concluded that the use of nickel in certain toys and toy materials which have only a very low exposure to nickel that is not expected to cause cancer shall be permitted.

Hence nickel may be used in toys as stainless steel alloys and in toy components intended to conduct an electric current.

Nevertheless, nickel is still subject to nickel migration per EN 71-3 and to the REACH Annex XVII nickel release requirements for metallic materials in direct prolonged skin contact, as applicable.

Restrictions on Flame Retardants

TCEP (tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate) is a phosphate ester used as flame-retardant plasticizer in polymers and also widely used in the building, furniture and textile industries.

TCEP is classified as carcinogenic (category 2) and toxic for reproduction (category 1B). It can be easily released from toys by sucking and chewing of toy materials, and when ingested is toxic to the kidneys, liver and brain, potentially causing adverse health effects and even cancer.

The EU Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) considers that the restrictions for TCEP should also be applied to its halogenated alternatives, TCPP (tris(2-chloro-1-methylethyl) phosphate) and TDCP (tris[2-chloro-1-(chloromethyl)ethyl] phosphate), based on their similar structures, physical–chemical properties, toxicokinetics and mutagenic profiles.

Restrictions on Bisphenol A

Bisphenol A is widely used in the production of a large variety of toys and other consumer products, primarily in polycarbonate (PC) and certain epoxy resins.

Bisphenol A is a hazardous substance and is classified as toxic for reproduction category 2.

Toys intended for use by children under 36 months of age or in other toys intended to be placed in the mouth.



Limit Value

Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate


5 mg/kg (content limit)

tris(2-chloro-1-methylethyl) phosphate


5 mg/kg (content limit)

tris[2-chloro-1-(chloromethyl)ethyl] phosphate


5 mg/kg (content limit)

Bisphenol A (BPA)


0.1 mg/l (migration limit)

To learn more about nickel, flame retardants and BPA testing, please contact Mr. Isaac Lam at +852 2173 8878, or email to


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