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The Council of the EU adopted their position on the updated rules of the toy safety regulation, which leaves many gaps on children’s protection from harmful chemicals. HEAL calls on the European Parliament to ensure bans on hazardous chemicals such as PFAS and bisphenols are incorporated in the new regulation during interinstitutional negotiations. 

The absence of any reference to the direct ban of PFAS and bisphenols in toys in the Council position is concerning. These were included in the proposal adopted by the European Parliament earlier this year but have not been taken up by the Council.

HEAL Programme Lead on Health and Chemicals Sandra Jen calls for better health protection:Playing with toys should not leave children and their families exposed to harmful chemicals. The Council’s position fails to acknowledge the magnitude of children’s exposure to harmful chemicals, such as PFAS and bisphenols, and the severity of associated health concerns. We need a toy safety legislation that truly applies the precautionary principle and protects children’s health against harmful chemicals with no further delay.

Also based on this position only substances classified at EU level as carcinogenic-, mutagenic-, or reprotoxic (CMR) under the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (a lengthy process) would be banned from toys.  This means that a broad range of chemical mixtures and substances, including CMR substances and endocrine disruptors, may still be present in children’s toys at levels harmful for health, simply because they have not yet been classified as such at EU level. 

The Council position is therefore clearly insufficient to effectively protect children from harmful chemicals. HEAL calls on the newly installed Parliament post-elections to ensure a position that will protect the children’s health to be adopted during negotiations with the Council.

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