In the spring of 2012, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) analysed toys to test how flammable they are. All the tested toys met today's requirements and were not considered to be flammable. The toys tested were articles which from experience could be flammable, such as wigs, masks and a fancy dress.
When the new Toy Safety Directive (2009/48/EC) was introduced in 2011 the Swedish Chemicals Agency became the responsible supervisory authority for toy flammability. The present project is the first one performed by KemI in this regulatory area.
The project analysed 14 components in nine toys. The products selected were of the type thought to be flammable:
• masks and fancy dress - have occurred in the EU reporting system for dangerous products (RAPEX) and has been identified as entailing a risk according to standard EN 71.
• Wigs - have been identified as entailing a risk according to standard EN 71.
Performance of analyses
The products were sent to an accredited laboratory for analysis. Five sets of clothes, three wigs and a mask in the form of a cat was analysed.
The laboratory tested the toys in accordance with EN 71 Part 2. They were exposed to a gas flame, which should correspond to a candle. If the toy could ignite the fire spread quickly to the surface. All components meet the requirements of the standard, i.e., they were not considered to be flammable and therefore met the statutory requirements.
- The aim was to see if the toys met regulatory requirements, the preliminary results seem fine, although it does not mean that toys cannot catch fire. There is always a risk that products that meet standard requirements may constitute a fire hazard. The standard defines the rules, requirements and test methods, but a laboratory setting can never fully reflect reality, says KemI inspector Camilla Westlund.
The company that sold the tested products have been informed that the check was done and had access to the analytical results. The companies have also received information about the rules.
The rules in the Toy Safety Directive have been implemented into Swedish Act (2011:579) on Toy Safety and regulation (2011:703) on Toy Safety. Appendix 5 of KemI´s Chemical Products and Biotechnical Organisms Regulations (KIFS 2008:2) contains provisions on the flammability of toys (amendment KIFS 2011:3). The Swedish Chemicals Agency is responsible to carry out enforcement to check compliance.