On 18 July 2013, the European Commission (EC) published Regulation (EU) No 681/2013 in the Official Journal of the European Union to amend the limit values of barium content in toys. All the new limit values in the three toy categories have been lowered to one-third of the original as shown in Table A. These new limits have been applicable since 20 July 2013 along with the new chemical requirements in the Toy Safety Directive (2009/48/EC), TSD, thereby avoiding any transposition period during which different limits would apply.
The new limits were based upon the opinion of the EU Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) adopted on 22 March 2012, which took into account new data from the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The European Commission concluded that in order to ensure the best possible protection of children's health, it was necessary to apply those lower migration limits for barium without delay.
The TSD establishes the migration limits of 19 heavy elements, including barium, from toys or components of toys. These values are different depending on the material of the toy or the component in question and should not be exceeded.
Table A: A comparison of the new and old migration limits for barium content in toys.
Barium migration limit
in dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable toy material
e.g. compressed paint tablets, magic sand, chalk, crayons, etc
in liquid or sticky toy material
e.g. bubble solution, slimes, finger paints, glue sticks, etc
in scraped-off toy material
e.g. surface coatings, polymers, wood, textiles, metals, etc