Posts Tagged ‘Safety of Toys’

New ISO 8124-6 – Toy Safety – Phthalate esters

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Toy safety is a top concern and over time the standards in this area have gained wide acceptance.  Concurrently, regulatory requirements have multiplied, providing manufacturers with the challenging task of meeting diverse requirements for products with a short shelf life.  Now to assist in meeting conformity assessment requirements, ISO 8124-6, “Safety of toys – Part 6: Certain phthalate esters in toys and childrens products,” has been released.  Based on the GB/T 22048 (available in Chinese language only), the standard does not set limits for the inclusion of phthalate esters.  Rather it provides you with a method for determining how much of the various kinds of phthalate esters exist in toys and children’s products.

Phthalate esters themselves are used in plastics to provide greater flexibility and improved ability to hold color and/or fragrance.  They actually have a weak bond, so they are one of the major plastics pollutants in the environment.  Although they have not been shown to be toxic, there is concern that over time exposure can have negative effects (both developmental and reproductive).  Because of this, various jurisdictions have enacted regulatory limitations on the inclusion of these substances in children’s products.

As a toy manufacturer or distributor, you’ll rely on the use of the ISO 8124-6 to test your product(s).  It’s basically a process when a small piece of the item is processed for determination of phthalate esters both qualitatively and quantitatively by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry.   The standard covers the reagents, apparatus, selection of the test portion and the procedure, calculation, quality control, precision and the test report itself.

There are an additional six Annexes.  Annex A contains the only required material — A table of the various kinds of phthalate esters themselves.  While the remaining five Annexes are informative, they are actually quite technical and provide essential information for the successful use of the standard.  A 12-item bibliography finishes out the document.

The new ISO 8124-6 is the 5th part of the series to be published.  The balance of the series (both available and in process) are:

  • ISO 8124-1, Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties
  • ISO 8124-2, Safety of toys — Part 2: Flammability
  • ISO 8124-3, Safety of toys Part 3: Migration of certain elements
  • ISO 8124-4, Safety of toys — Part 4: Swings, slides and similar activity toys for indoor and outdoor family domestic use
  • Proposed ISO 8124-5, Safety of toys — Part 5: Determination of total concentration of certain elements in toys
  • Proposed ISO 8124-7, Safety of toys — Part 7: Requirements and test methods for finger paints
  • ISO/TR 8124-8 (Just released!), Safety of toys — Part 8: Age determination guidelines

You’ll need a copy of the new ISO toy safety standard, and you can purchase an authorized copy from Document Center Inc.  You’ll have the option of getting it in paper format, as a pdf download, or for multi-use access in our Standards Online subscription service.  Order through our website, www.document-center.com.  Or contact our staff by phone (650-591-7600), fax (650-591-7617) or email (info@document-center.com).

We’ve been providing standards to folks like you since 1982.  Make us your Standards Experts!

New 2011 Edition of BS-EN-71-1, Safety of Toys, now available

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

BS EN 71-1, titled “Safety of toys – Mechanical and physical properties,” is now available from Document Center Inc. in the new 2011 Edition.  The standard specifies requirements and test methods for the mechanical and physical properties of toys and is an essential standard for compliance with the European Union’s Toy Safety Directive.

In 2011 the new EU Toy Safety Directive came into force.  BS EN 71-1, the official English language edition of EN 71-1, provides the detail which underpins this new directive.

When a toy is placed on the market in the European Union, the manufacturer must draw up an EC Declaration of Conformity (DoC).  By doing so the manufacturer certifies and assumes responsibility for the compliance of the toy with the essential requirements of the new directive.  If a toy complies with this standard it should not present any further hazard to children when used as intended.

This new edition of BS EN 71-1 replaces the BS EN 71-1:2005+A9:2009 Edition. Both versions, and all BS EN standards, are available from Document Center Inc. through our website, www.document-center.com. Or contact us by phone (650-591-7600), fax (650-591-7617) or email (info@document-center.com). We’d be happy to assist you with all your standards requirements and questions.

International Toy Safety Standards

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

If we consider International Standards to be the “Big 3″, ISO, IEC, and ITU, we find that both ISO and IEC have standards relating to toys.  So to follow up on Monday’s blog on U.S. Toy Standards, today we’ll review the International Standards on the topic that we sell at Document Center Inc.

First, I’d like to bring the following joint Guide to your attention:

ISO/IEC-Guide 50, Safety aspects — Guidelines for child safety:

This Guide provides a framework for addressing potential sources of unintentional physical harm (hazards) to children from products, processes or services that they use or with which they may come into contact, even if they are not specifically intended for children. The framework aims at minimizing risk of injury to children.

It is primarily intended for those involved in the preparation and revision of standards. However, it has important information that can be useful to, amongst others, designers, architects, manufacturers, service providers, communicators and policy makers.

For children with special needs, additional requirements may be appropriate. This Guide does not claim to address those additional requirements in full. ISO/IEC Guide 71 addresses the needs of persons with disabilities.

A product may include goods, structures, buildings, installations or a combination of these.

No specific guidance is given in this Guide for the prevention or reduction of psychological or moral harm or of intentional injuries.

Now, the IEC standards on Toys:

IEC-62115, Electric toys – Safety.  By the way, there is a new Amendment 2 for this standard which should be available soon.

Deals with the safety of toys that have at least one function dependent on electricity.  Examples of toys within the scope of this standard are constructional sets; experimental sets; functional toys (having a function similar to an appliance or installation used by adults) and video toys (toys having a screen and means of activation, such as a joystick or keyboard. Separate screens having a rated voltage of more than 24 v are not considered to be part of the toy).  Toys using electricity for secondary functions are also within the scope of this standard (a dolls house having an interior lamp is an example of such a toy).

IEC-61558-2-7, Safety of power transformers, power supplies, reactors and similar products – Part 2-7: Particular requirements and tests for transformers and power supplies for toys:

This part of IEC 61558 deals with safety aspects of transformers for toys and power supplies incorporating transformers for toys such as electrical, thermal and mechanical safety. This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition published in 1997. It constitutes a technical revision. The main changes consist of updating this Part 2-7, in accordance with Part 1, edition 2, and adding power supplies to the scope. This Part 2-7 has the status of a group safety publication in accordance with IEC Guide 104.

And the ISO standards:

ISO-8124-1, Safety of toys — Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties:

The requirements in ISO 8124-1:2009 apply to all toys, i.e. any product or material designed or clearly intended for use in play by children under 14 years of age. They are applicable to a toy as it is initially received by the consumer and, in addition, they apply after a toy is subjected to reasonably foreseeable conditions of normal use and abuse unless specifically noted otherwise.

The requirements of ISO 8124-1:2009 specify acceptable criteria for structural characteristics of toys, such as shape, size, contour, spacing, as well as acceptable criteria for properties peculiar to certain categories of toy.

ISO 8124-1:2009 specifies requirements and test methods for toys intended for use by children in various age groups from birth to 14 years. It also requires that appropriate warnings and/or instructions for use be given on certain toys or their packaging. Due to linguistic problems that may occur in different countries, the wording of these warnings and instructions is not specified but given as general information in Annex B. It should be noted that different legal requirements exist in many countries with regard to such marking.

ISO 8124-1:2009 does not purport to cover or include every conceivable potential hazard of a particular toy or toy category. Except for labelling requirements indicating the functional hazards and the age range for which the toy is intended, it has no requirements for those characteristics of toys that represent an inherent and recognized hazard that is integral to the function of the toy

ISO-8124-2, Safety of toys — Part 2: Flammability:

ISO 8124-2:2007 specifies the categories of flammable materials that are prohibited in all toys, and requirements concerning flammability of certain toys when they are subjected to a minor source of ignition.

The test methods described are used for the purposes of determining the flammability of toys under the particular test conditions specified. The test results thus obtained cannot be considered as providing an overall indication of the potential fire hazard of toys or materials when subjected to other sources of ignition.

ISO 8124-2:2007 includes general requirements relating to all toys and specific requirements and methods of test relating to the following toys, which are considered as being those presenting the greatest hazard:

  • toys to be worn on the head: beards, moustaches, wigs, etc., made from hair, pile or material with similar features; molded and fabric masks; hoods, head-dresses, etc.; flowing elements of toys to be worn on the head, but excluding paper novelty hats of the type usually supplied in party crackers;
  • toy disguise costumes and toys intended to be worn by a child in a play;
  • toys intended to be entered by a child;
  • soft-filled toys (animals and dolls, etc.) with a piled surface or textile surface.

ISO-8124-3, Safety of toys — Part 3: Migration of certain elements:

ISO 8124-3:2010 specifies maximum acceptable levels and methods of sampling and extraction prior to analysis for the migration of the elements antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and selenium from toy materials and from parts of toys.

Maximum acceptable levels are specified for the migration of the elements listed above from the following toy materials:

  • coatings of paints, varnishes, lacquers, printing inks, polymers and similar coatings;
  • polymeric and similar materials, including laminates, whether textile-reinforced or not, but excluding other textiles and non-woven textiles;
  • paper and paperboard, up to a maximum mass per unit area of 400 g/m2;
  • natural, artificial or synthetic textiles;
  • glass/ceramic/metallic materials, excepting lead solder when used for electrical connections;
  • other materials, whether mass-coloured or not (e.g. wood, fibreboard, hardboard, bone and leather);
  • materials intended to leave a trace (e.g. the graphite materials in pencils and liquid ink in pens);
  • pliable modelling materials, including modelling clays and gels;
  • paints to be used as such in the toy, including finger paints, varnishes, lacquers, glazing powders and similar materials in solid or liquid form.

The requirements in ISO 8124-3:2010 apply to the following toys and toy components of toys and toy materials:

  • all intended food and oral contact toys, cosmetic toys and writing instruments categorized as toys, irrespective of any age grading or recommended age labelling;
  • all toys intended for or suitable for children up to 72 months of age;
  • accessible coatings, irrespective of any age grading or recommended age labelling;
  • accessible liquids, pastes, gels (e.g. liquid paints, modelling compounds) irrespective of any age grading or recommended age labelling.

ISO-8124-4, Safety of toys — Part 4: Swings, slides and similar activity toys for indoor and outdoor family domestic use:

ISO 8124‑4:2010 specifies requirements and test methods for activity toys for domestic family use intended for children under fourteen years to play on or in.

Products covered by ISO 8124‑4:2010 include swings, slides, seesaws, carousels, rocking toys, climbing frames, fully enclosed toddler swing seats and other products intended to bear the mass of one or more children.

ISO-8098, Cycles — Safety requirements for bicycles for young children:

This International Standard specifies safety and performance requirements and test methods for the design, assembly and testing of bicycles for young children of from about four to eight years of age and these bicycles’ sub-assemblies. It also provides guidelines for instructions on the use and care of the bicycles.

This International Standard is applicable to bicycles with a maximum saddle height of more than 435 mm and less than 635 mm propelled by a transmitted drive to the rear wheel.

It is not applicable to special bicycles intended for stunting (e.g. BMX bicycles).

These standards, and all standards from the organizations mentioned, are available from Document Center Inc. at www.document-center.com, or by phone (650-591-7600), fax (650-591-7617) or email (info@document-center.com).  Again, your comments and questions are welcome.

Toy Safety Standards – U.S. Standards

Monday, October 25th, 2010

With the holiday season right around the corner, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is bringing the issue of safety of toys and toy imports back into the headlines.   CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum’s current visit to China raises questions again regarding the impact of standards on our imports.

Standards have played an important role here in the U.S.  in keeping children’s products safe since the 1970’s.  We’ll be using the blogs this week to discuss the various standards and regulations we sell at Document Center Inc. that impact toy makers and anyone in the toy industry.

U.S. toy standards are released by ASTM, ANSI and UL.  Here’s a list of these documents:

ASTM-F963, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety:

1. Scope

1.1 This specification relates to possible hazards that may not be recognized readily by the public and that may be encountered in the normal use for which a toy is intended or after reasonably foreseeable abuse. It does not purport to cover every conceivable hazard of a particular toy. This specification does not cover product performance or quality, except as related to safety. Except for the labeling requirements pointing out the functional hazards and age range for which the toy is intended, this specification has no requirements for those aspects of a toy that present an inherent and recognized hazard as part of the function of the toy. Such an example is a sharp point necessary for the function of a needle. The needle is an inherent hazard that is well understood by the purchaser of a toy sewing kit, and this hazard is communicated to the user as part of the normal educational process.

1.2 On the other hand, while a riding toy has inherent hazards associated with its use (for example, falling off onto the sidewalk), the possible hazards associated with its construction (sharp edges, exposed mechanisms, etc.) will be minimized by the application of this specification.

1.3 This specification covers requirements and contains test methods for toys intended for use by children under 14 years of age. Different age limits for various requirements will be found in this specification. These limits reflect the nature of the hazards and expected mental or physical ability, or both, of a child to cope with the hazards.

UL-696, Electric Toys:

1 Scope

1.1 These requirements cover electrically-operated toys including miniatures of full-sized appliances that may not necessarily perform the expected function of the copied appliance and that are intended to be used on nominal 120-volt branch circuits. The package for the toy, including packaging material if intended to be used with the toy, is considered to be a part of the toy and is covered by these requirements. An electric product is considered a toy if it is designed, manufactured, or marketed as a plaything for children over the age of 3.

1.2 For a toy that mimics the form or function of an established general-use appliance, the established requirements applicable to the general-use appliance shall be considered in defining the particular requirements applicable to the toy. Among the considerations that may be applicable are normal and abnormal test conditions. The requirements of the standard covering the general-use appliance shall not reduce the level of requirements addressed by this standard, but shall supplement the content of this standard as appropriate.

1.3 These requirements do not cover toys for outdoor use, sewing machines, flatirons, toys that operate with water, toys that operate with a gas or liquid under pressure (such as a steam engine), toy transformers, or toys intended to operate from the secondary of a toy transformer at a potential of 30 volts rms (42.4 volts peak) or less.

ASTM F1148, Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Home Playground Equipment:

1. Scope

1.1 This consumer safety specification provides safety requirements for various types of home playground equipment intended for use by children aged from over eighteen months through 10 years. It further provides such requirements for swings intended specifically for toddlers. Different age limits for various requirements are found in this specification. These limits reflect the nature of the hazards and the expected mental or physical ability, or both, of the child to cope with the hazards.

1.2 Home playground equipment is defined as any product in which the support structure remains stationary while the activity is taking place and is intended for a child to perform any of the following activities: climbing, swinging, sliding, rocking, spinning, crawling, or creeping, or combination thereof. Fitness equipment is specifically excluded unless attached to the play equipment. This specification is not intended to apply to juvenile care products such as, but not limited to, infant swings, playpens/enclosures, beds, or furniture (including outdoor furniture, such as picnic tables, cradle rockers, activity centers being used as walker substitutes, bouncers, jumpers, infant carriers, and products specifically designed for therapeutic use). This specification is not intended to apply to equipment to be used in places of public assembly such as schools, nurseries, day-care centers, and parks. Equipment intended to be in child-care centers in private homes is not exempt from the requirements of this specification. Such centers are defined as situations in which the child-care provider does not care for more than six children under the age of ten that are not residing in the household of the caregiver, and the total number of children under the age of ten does not exceed ten, including the caregiver’s own children. Electrically operated constant air inflatable devices are exempted from the requirements of this specification.

1.3 Methods of identifying products that comply with this consumer safety specification are given. The illustrations of home playground equipment shown in Figs. A1.1-A1.4 are for informational purposes only and are not intended to limit or endorse certain types of playground equipment or equipment features. These illustrations are not intended to limit the variety or various combinations of equipment that are covered by this consumer safety specification.

1.4 The purpose of this specification is to reduce the likelihood of life-threatening or debilitating injuries.

1.5 If toy accessories or toy chests are attached to home playground equipment, they are applicable to this consumer safety specification and to any other applicable safety standards.

ANSI Z315.1, American National Standard for Tricycles:

This standard covers the safety requirements for all tricycles intended for use by children 8 years and under.

ASTM F834, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Chests:

1. Scope

1.1 This consumer safety specification covers the performance requirements and test methods to ensure the safety of toy chests.

1.2 This consumer safety specification is intended to minimize the accidents and injuries to children resulting from normal use and reasonably foreseeable misuse or abuse of toy chests.

1.3 For the purposes of this consumer safety specification, these requirements apply to products known as toy chests or toy boxes that are designed and marketed as storage containers for toys. The products subject to the requirements are those with a volume of 1.1 ft3 (0.031 m3) or more.

1.4 No toy chest or toy box produced after the approval date of this consumer safety specification shall, either by label or other means, indicate compliance with this specification unless it conforms to all requirements contained herein.

ASTM F1313, Standard Specification for Volatile N-Nitrosamine Levels in Rubber Nipples on Pacifiers:

This specification applies to the nitrosamine content of rubber used in the manufacture of nipples for infant pacifiers. This specification is intended for use in reducing the normal exposure to nitrosamines. Methylene chloride extraction method shall be used to determine the nitrosamine levels.

All 6 of these standards and more are available at the Document Center Inc. website, www.document-center.com, and by phone (650-591-7600), fax (650-591-7617) and email (info@document-center.com).  Please contact us if there are any questions about toy and safety standards.