July 24, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

"These are not toys for you!" – harmful chemical compounds in gifts for children

Created by DALL·E 3

Experts warn about harmful chemicals contained in popular goods and products intended for children: 1 out of 5 products (toys) are hazardous to health.

Study EU shows that every fifth consumer product is hazardous to health because it contains elements and compounds that exceed permissible standards. The investigation revealed chemicals and microparticles in popular products that are dangerous to health or even life.

It is noted that these are products that almost everyone buys and uses in everyday life, e.g. electrical and electronic products, toys, headphones and chargers, clothing and footwear, sporting goods, jewelry and much more.

ABOUT scale of the problem This is evidenced by the fact that in every fifth facility (20%) inspected as part of the investigation, it was found that the content of potentially dangerous chemical components exceeds permissible standards. In practice this means that specific products must be immediately withdrawn from store shelves and not returned there until the companies producing them, whether inside or outside the EU, comply with the terms and conditions set by the competent authorities.

The study also included Greece, where monitoring and evaluation included a total of 99 products in circulation and available on the market. It is worth noting that a total of 2,407 different products were tested in EU member countries.

According to the protocol, the products in which the greatest degree of excess, and therefore danger, were found are (as can be seen from the corresponding table) electronic and electrical products. Of the 329 tested products, 170, that is, more than every second (52% ) the content was higher than permitted. They are followed by toys with 23%, sporting goods with 18% and fashion with 15%.


As for the various materials used to manufacture the tested products, the greatest danger was identified in metals of all types, with the percentage of exceeding the standards being 24%. This is followed by soft and flexible plastic with 20% and hard plastic with 11%, while the “criminality” in other materials is much lower – in textiles 3%, in leather 2% and zero in foam, wood and paper.


The most dangerous chemical elements and compounds found mainly in electronics are lead, cadmium and phthalates (volatile compounds). According to a recent study published in the scientific journal The Lancet Planetary Health, lead causes approximately 5 million deaths annually worldwideand also causesCognitive and memory problems affecting millions of children under 5 years of age. Cadmium is also responsible for carcinogenesis and mutationsmainly for the appearance of malignant tumors of the pancreas.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), an EU agency based in Helsinki responsible for the faithful implementation of European Union rules (REACH) governing the registration, evaluation, authorization and restrictions of various chemical products, provides advice to Member States and competent authorities, as well as businessmen. traders. In order to take into account and adapt the production process and the use of raw materials as carefully as possible, so that minimize health risks for Europeans.

Particular caution, as reported by the publication “Νέων”, must be exercised with respect to goods imported from other countries into European markets, both from China and from other countries. And this is no coincidence, since the ECHA study showed that the largest percentage of exceeding the permitted standards is for species either of “unknown origin” (22%) or with a producing country outside the European Union.

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