Many consumer products contain hazardous chemicals!

Chemical assessment reform proposal

Image: PxHere

Many consumer products contain hazardous chemicals!An EU-wide enforcement project by the ECHA Forum has identified excessive levels of hazardous chemicals in consumer products. Consider substances such as lead and phthalates. In total, 18% of the products tested were found to be in breach of EU law.

National enforcement authorities in 26 EU countries checked more than 2,400 products, most of which were intended for consumers. More than 400 of them violated EU chemicals legislation.


The most common products

The most common types of products in breach of the law are:

  • Electrical appliances such as electrical toys, chargers, cables, headphones. 52% of these products were found to be non-compliant, mainly due to lead in solder, phthalates in soft plastic parts or cadmium in circuit boards.
  • Sports equipment such as yoga mats, cycling gloves, balls or rubber handles of sports equipment. 18% of these products were found to be non-compliant, mainly due to SCCPs and phthalates in soft plastics and PAHs in rubber.
  • Toys such as bath/water toys, dolls, costumes, play mats, plastic figures, fidget toys, outdoor toys, slime and childcare articles. 16% of non-electric toys were found to be non-compliant, mainly due to phthalates in soft plastic parts, but also due to other restricted substances such as PAHs, nickel, boron or nitrosamines.
  • Fashion products such as bags, jewelry, belts, shoes and clothing. 15% of these products were found to be non-compliant due to the phthalates, lead and cadmium they contain.

In cases where non-compliant products were identified, enforcement action was taken by inspectors. Most of these resulted in such products being withdrawn from the market.


Most products originate outside the EEA

The non-compliance rate was higher for products originating from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or whose origin was unknown.



This enforcement project checked whether different types of products sold to consumers and professional users in the EEA market comply with EU chemicals legislation.
The project covered REACH restrictions, obligations for substances in articles under REACH, POP restrictions and restrictions arising from the Toys and RoHS Directives. The checks were carried out in 2022 by national enforcement authorities in 26 countries.


Further information


Source: ECHA
Also read: Chemical assessment reform proposal


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!