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EU Launches Public Consultation on Migration Limits for Aluminium in Toys

The European Commission’s independent Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) has launched a public consultation on the 'Tolerable intake of aluminium with regard to adapting the migration limits for aluminium in toys'. Stakeholders including those that may be affected, such as manufacturers and importers of toys, have been asked to provide their written comments by 10 September 2017.

The Commission requested the SCHEER to review the currently available data on the toxicity of aluminium, taking into account the acceptable levels established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2008 and by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) in 2011.

The Commission equally requested the SCHEER to advise on a tolerable intake level for aluminium that could be used to adapt the migration limits for aluminium in Directive 2009/48/EC (the Toy Safety Directive). SCHEER issued a Preliminary Opinion (the SCHEER Opinion) on 5 July 2017.

Hong Kong traders may recall that the content and migration limits set out in Annex II of the Toy Safety Directive are regularly reviewed, most recently with regard to phenol.

The SCHEER Opinion evaluates sources of exposure to aluminium, in particular dietary exposure and exposure from sources like drinking water, food contact materials and dust.

Regarding aluminium exposure in children, the SCHEER reaches the overall conclusion that dietary aluminium intake alone can in some cases already exceed the reference values established by EFSA (i.e. a tolerable weekly intake of 1 mg/kg bodyweight) and JECFA (i.e. a provisional tolerable weekly intake of 2 mg/kg bodyweight).

Therefore, the SCHEER recommends that the additional exposure from toys should be minimised. The SCHEER Opinion sets the tolerable daily intake at 0.3 mg/kg bodyweight.

The resulting migration limits for aluminium from toys are calculated according to the current legislation, which allocates 10% of the tolerable daily intake to toys, and are set at:

  • 2250 mg aluminium/kg of dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable toy material,
  • 560 mg aluminium/kg of liquid or sticky toy material,
  • and 28130 mg aluminium/kg of scraped-off toy material.

Hong Kong traders may wish to participate in the public consultation

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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