EU countries "flooded" by toxic plastic toys from China

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 28-11-2019 09:31:00 · 0 Comments

EU countries are being "flooded" by toxic toys, mostly plastic, from China, which are threatening children's health, warns a report released on Thursday.

Lusa has been given access to this document by the European Environment Bureau, a European network of some 150 environmental non-governmental organisations from more than 30 countries.

The report states that dangerous contamination by phthalates (a chemical compound to make plastic more malleable and considered carcinogenic) has been found in children in 13 of the 15 countries analysed.

This year alone, national authorities have blocked the sale of 248 models of toys, as they showed illegal levels of toxic chemicals in tests.

Of these, 228 (92%) were classified as "serious risk", 219 (88%) came from China, and 127 (51%) were contaminated with phthalates.

A mask detected in Germany had 43% of phthalate and products found in Poland and France were also "seriously contaminated," says the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), which quotes the European Union's Rapid Alert System (for non-food products).

Toys were not the only products confiscated for containing toxic products, but also motor vehicles and household appliances among many others.

References to Portugal are essentially in relation to toxic products in cars. Other countries reported, in addition to toys, child car seats (Bulgaria), children's clothing (Cyprus), cosmetics (Czech Republic), baby walkers (France) or lighting and electrical equipment (Italy).

Last winter the customs authorities of four EU border countries had already announced that 2.26 million Chinese plastic toys had been inspected, as a result of which 722,598 toys with illegal levels of phthalates had been prevented from entering Europe. 31,590 toys were destroyed.

Of the contaminated toys, the vast majority (92%) had the manufacturer's CE safety mark. The CE mark means that the toy complies with the legislation in force. The products seized, despite bearing the mark, did not comply with European legislation in terms of health, safety and environmental standards.

"The European Chemicals Agency has concluded that the situation is not adequately controlled, there is evidence" that recycled plastic for toys containing "banned substances" is being marketed and that toys are being sold "with legal substances in illegal concentrations".

Today, EEB is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the problem, saying that it is time for companies to stop putting toxic products in toys.


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