Vol. 1220 | 25 Jan 2021

A revised version of the European Toy Standard EN 71-4:2020 (Experimental sets for chemistry and related activities) has recently been published by CEN, and National Standards Bodies will publish or endorse this new standard by June 2021.

The standard is a revision of EN 71-4:2013 and covers experimental sets, which are defined as toys where the experimental and explorative character in playing with single chemical substances and mixtures dominates over the creative ideas of the user. This would include chemistry sets, crystal growing sets and carbon dioxide generating experimental sets for which the standard has specific requirements.

Key Changes

The revised version now states that the scope of the standard does not include combined sets, for example where a toy includes both a chemistry set and a crystal growing set. However, chemistry sets may include crystal growing experiments providing they comply with the requirements for chemistry sets (e.g., permitted amount of allowed chemicals).

Chemistry sets may now be supplied with food additives and their mixtures according to Regulation (EC) 1333/2008, if they are not classified as hazardous substances or mixtures.

The requirements on closures for child-resistant containers have been revised by permitting only closures in compliance with EN ISO 8317:2015 and the former method in Annex A for closures of reagent containers has been deleted.

Eye protection now has to be provided for carbon dioxide generating experimental sets containing substances which are required to be marked with the GHS pictogram GHS05. In this situation the instruction “Always wear eye protection” must be included in the safety rules.

Requirements for Manufacturers

Currently EN 71-4:2013 is still the harmonised toy standard under 2009/48/EC and the designated standard under the UK Toy Safety Regulations and will be so for the immediate future. However, manufacturers should start designing their experimental sets to take into account the revised requirements.

For more information:

Philip Bullock
+44 (0) 116 263 9606


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