Check finds hazardous chemicals in many consumer products
Checks on various consumer products in 26 European Economic Area (EEA) countries found that 18% of them contained excessive levels of hazardous chemicals, ECHA has revealed. This was carried out in late 2022 as an EU-wide enforcement project related to the ECHA Enforcement Forum.
In all, the national enforcement authorities looked at over 2,400 products, mostly intended for consumers and found that over 400 breached breached the REACH or persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Regulations, or the restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) of Toys Directives. Among the commonest were:
* Electrical devices such as electrical toys, chargers, cable and headphones: 52% were non-compliant, mostly due to lead in solders, phthalates in soft plastic parts or cadmium in circuit boards
* Sports equipment: 18% non-compliant mostly due to short-chain chlorinated paraffins and phthalates in soft plastic and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in rubber
* Non-electric toys: 16% non-compliant, mostly due to phthalates found in soft plastic parts, but also other restricted substances such as PAHs, nickel, boron or nitrosamines
* Fashion products: 15% non-compliant due to the phthalates, lead and cadmium they contained
In cases where non-compliant products were found, inspectors have taken enforcement measures, with most of them resulting in the withdrawal of such products from the market. The non-compliance rate was higher in products which originated from outside the EEA or whose origin was not known, ECA noted.