Survey and health assessment of phthalates in toys and other products for children

Survey of chemical substances in consumer products No. 139, 2015

The purpose of the project is to provide an overview of children’s exposure to phthalates with antiandrogen effects from toys, childcare articles and other products for children as well as to perform market surveillance on the requirements in legislation concerning phthalates in toys and childcare articles. Based on the survey, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency selected 34 toy products and 7 childcare articles for market surveillance. In co-operation with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, it was decided that the 35 ‘other products for children’, which were purchased for chemical analysis for a content of phthalates, were to be distributed on the following product types: Bicycle handles, including handlebar tape, mobile covers for smartphones and tablets as well as bags for mobiles and wrist watches (watch straps). The market surveillance showed that 9 products did not comply with applicable legislation. Out of the 35 ‘other products for children’ which were analysed for phthalates, 10 products contained one or more phthalates in concentrations above 1 %. The conclusion of the report is that exposure to a few phthalates in single products, examined as a part of this project, does not constitute a risk but that the total exposure to more phthalates with antiandrogen effects from several different sources in a realistic worst-case scenario may constitute a health risk for 6-year-old children. A large part of the risk is due to the use of a few products with high contents of phthalates as well as assumptions that phthalates are still present in food like it was some years ago – which probably is an overestimation in relation to the real situation today.

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