Denmark's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the results of
a recent crack-down on hazardous chemicals and substances in toys, with three
toys found with lead above acceptable levels and the products removed from sale
The Danish EPA conducted compliance testing against the EU's Restriction of
Hazardous Substances (RoHS) laws on 24 samples of electronic toys. Of these,
three contained lead above the allowed concentration levels.
Following the findings, the Danish EPA said that it plans to continue with
similar enforcement of RoHS legislation in various product categories. The enforcement
campaign was part of a joint action among other Northern European countries'
equivalent enforcement authorities. Similar results to the Danish Campaign have
been found in other Northern European markets regarding various electronic and
The greater government enforcement of product health and safety laws follows
increased media and consumer scrutiny of the amount of chemicals in consumer
products. This, together with moves by some governments to introduce further
new product health and safety laws is placing pressure on product manufacturers,
retailers, distributors, and suppliers to keep up with the cost and practicality
of compliance. For example, new Consumer Product Safety legislation in the USA
(CPSIA) has set very stringent limits, self declaration, and third party testing
requirements for children's products for lead and phthalates. For manufacturers
and brands supplying to the global market, this law is relevant in addition
to RoHS, REACH and other laws in-force.
"While many companies are highly attentive to global
compliance requirements of today and tomorrow, many
are not" states Torben Norlem, Chief Counsel of Intertek's
Health and Environmental Services (www.intertek.com/green).
"Greater enforcement by governments and the passing
of new laws with stricter requirements is increasing
the implications and risks for companies that have not
made compliance systems a priority".
"Despite the internationalism of laws and enforcement, the approach to compliance
can still be simple and straightforward and we work with companies on this basis"
explains Norlem. "Compliance is ongoing, and can only be effectively ensured
by reliable independent documentation and verification, combined with cost effective
and targeted testing programs where necessary. Companies with a sound process
of compliance and traceability across their supply chain are well positioned
to handle the pressures of rising global legislation, enforcement in a more
cost and time effective manner in the long-run".