ECHA investigations reveal the presence of toxic chemicals in childcare products
ECHA investigations reveal the presence of toxic chemicals in childcare products – The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has found that childcare products contain substances that cause cancer, cause genetic mutations or impair reproduction. These include items such as car seats, bibs and changing mats. The research helps the European Commission to prepare an EU-wide restriction of these chemicals with the aim of protecting children.
The research is based on information from 48 different sources. This shows that childcare products (articles) may contain substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMR). Metals such as cobalt, lead and phthalates such as DEHP are the most common CMR substances in childcare products.
CMRs were most commonly found in items such as car seats, bibs, toiletries, bedding and mattresses. Children can be exposed to these hazardous substances during use, for example through skin or mouth contact. Logically, children are particularly vulnerable to harm from chemicals due to their lower physique and in the context of developing physiology and behavior.
Components that support future remedial action
ECHA’s report contains elements that support the European Commission in preparing for a possible future restriction. This includes information on how childcare articles are defined, what the restriction could include, possible deviations, recommended concentration limits and timelines for implementation. The report also includes views from ECHA’s Enforcement Forum on how feasible it would be to enforce such a restriction.
Course of events
The report will now be sent to the European Commission, which will use it to prepare a draft restriction proposal under Article 68(2) of REACH. This procedure allows the Commission to prepare a restriction proposal without the intervention of ECHA’s Scientific Committees.
The aim of ECHA’s research is to support the European Commission in preparing a restriction under the REACH Regulation to protect children from exposure to CMR substances in childcare articles. The focus was on substances that have a harmonized classification as CMR in category 1A (known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction) or 1B (suspected of being carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction in humans) under the CLP Regulation.
How was the information collected?
During the investigation, ECHA organized two public calls for evidence and a consultation on the draft report. The Agency contacted 233 different stakeholders to provide information about the work and took their feedback into account.
- Research report and forum advice on feasibility
- Request from the European Commission to ECHA [PDF][EN]
- European Commission: REACH restrictions
Also Read: ECHA recommends more transparency in trade in dangerous chemicals
This information has been compiled with the greatest possible care, in some cases from different information sources. (Interpretation) errors are not excluded. No legal obligation can therefore be derived from this text. Everyone dealing with this subject has the responsibility to delve into the matter!