Vol. 968 | 09 May 2017

Recently the EU published Directive 2017/738 to amend the migration limits for lead in toys.

Primary Changes:

From 28 October 2018, the limits for the migration of lead from toys will be reduced to the following levels:

  • Dry, brittle, powder-like and pliable materials – 2.0 mg/kg (currently 13.5 mg/kg)
  • Liquid or sticky material – 0.5 mg/kg (currently 3.4 mg/kg)
  • Scraped off toy material – 23 mg/kg (currently 160 mg/kg)


These changes are based on the latest toxicological references and studies which show that the average blood levels of lead in European children is up to four times the highest tolerable exposure level. The original levels were based on a 2008 report which applied the concept of a tolerable daily intake. More recent approaches apply a concept relating to neurodevelopmental effects. Since there is no lower threshold below which exposure to lead has no critical health effects, any exposure to lead should be minimised and consequently the limits are significantly reduced.

EN 71-3 will be amended to reflect these new limits. It is not anticipated that the new limits will significantly affect compliance for most toys, but manufacturers of crayons and similar art materials may need to be particularly aware of levels of lead in raw materials such as kaolin.

For additional information please contact:

Philip Bullock
Technical Manager - Hardlines
+44(0)116 263 9606


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