Survey of allergenic substances in products targeted children – toys and cosmetic products

No. 148, 2016

Survey of allergenic substances in toys and cosmetics for children

The purpose of the project was to investigate whether toys and cosmetic products addressed to children and in prolonged contact with the skin contain allergenic substances and if corresponding products without allergenic substances can be found.

Lists of ingredients from in total 157 cosmetic products for children were examined for contents of 191 potentially allergenic substances, and the Danish Toy Sector was requested about the use of chosen potential allergenic substances in toys. Of the 157 cosmetic products, 30 products contained between one and eight potentially allergenic substances.  A content of many potentially allergenic substances was typically due to a content of many different fragrances. 15 out of the in total 157 investigated products had a declared content of fragrance but no content of the 26 fragrances subject to declaration in concentrations subject to declaration. Therefore, it was decided that focus on substances for possible chemical analyses had to be changed to ”other” potentially allergenic fragrances, i.e. fragrances which SCCS assesses as allergenic in humans but which are not a part of the 26 fragrances subject to declaration. 13 cosmetics products consisting of in total 23 sub-products and 21 pieces of toys with fragrances were analyzed for content of fragrances. Four fragrances were identified in 19 of the analyzed products. Furthermore, several of the fragrances subject to declaration (in cosmetics) were identified.

An essential conclusion from the survey is that it is possible to find cosmetic products for children in the Danish shops without potentially allergenic substances (based on the list of potentially allergenic substances established in the project). It is possible for nearly all the investigated product types (except for the product types hair spray and perfume set) to find products without potentially allergenic substances (from the established in the project). Fragrances turned out to be the group of substances which could constitute the biggest problem with regards to allergy.

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