On 18 August 2016, European Commission (the Commission) informed WTO the amended draft Directive1 to adopt the lower migration limits for lead in toys under Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC (TSD). According to the notification2, the amended draft directive will be published in first quarter of 2017 and to be applied in the third quarter of 2018.
At EU level, the presence of lead in ceramics and plastic food contact materials and electrical products is already restricted. REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 restricts the use of lead carbonates and sulphates in paint and the marketing of lead in jewellery. REACH also restricts the marketing and use of lead in articles supplied to the general public, but exempts toys from this restriction in view of the specific migration limits for lead in toys laid down in the TSD.
Table 1. Summary of current and proposed lead limits in toys
Migration Limits for lead (mg/kg)
Category I Dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable toy materials
Category 2 Liquid or sticky toy materials
Category 3 Scraped-off toy materials
Directive 2009/48/EC (current)
The original draft directive3 was notified in September 2014 and the proposed limits of lead were based on the recommendations of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in a 2008 report. An erratum to the report had been found on the calculation on amounts of materials to be ingested by children. After consulted by the Commission, Scientific Committee for Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER)4 evaluated and confirmed that the methodology used in the RIVM report to calculate safe limits for elements in toys is correct. The Commission therefore converted the draft directive to a proposal for a Council Directive amending and continue to apply the proposed lead limits in the amended draft directive accordingly.