Survey and analyses of consumer products with non-nickel coatings

Survey of chemical substances in consumer products No. 190, Januar 2023. With this project, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency wanted to assess the use and quality of nickel coatings in consumer products and at the same time check whether products from three different product categories comply with current legislation on nickel release.

The aim of the project was to gather information about the types, uses, and durability of nickel-free coating on consumer products intended for prolonged and direct skin contact. Furthermore, 63 products from three product categories (earstuds, piercing jewellery and toys) were purchased for chemical analysis to control compliance. The products were purchased from physical shops and webshops in Denmark, in EU and from outside the EU.

According to the results a large proportion (86%) of the purchased piercing jewellery contained nickel, while fewer earrings did (52%). In the toy category the use of nickel also seems to be common as 54% of the purchased products contained nickel.

Finally, the results showed that non-compliance may still be a significant problem in particular for the product categories piercing jewellery and earstuds. In total 8 out of 63 purchased products showed non-compliance with the current legislation on nickel release. 1 out of 22 (5%) of all the purchased toy products, 3 out of 14 (21%) of purchased piercing jewellery, and 4 out of 27 (15%) purchased earstuds showed non-compliance.

Relatively to the number of products purchased in a particular market, the frequency of non-compliance for products purchased from outside the EU is about twice that for products purchased in Denmark.

Læs publikation