Lead continues to be used in consumer product manufacture for its ability to increase malleability and pigment textiles and leather. It is toxic at very low levels of exposure. It accumulates within the body, so even low quantities can be harmful if you’re exposed to them on a regular basis.
As well as its well-documented negative effects on adult health, Lead has also been shown to have highly damaging effects on the intellectual and behavioural development of infants and young children.
Hence the launch of new, more stringent EU legislation - Lead in Consumer Articles Regulation EU 2015/628 Entry 63 amending Annex XVII to REACH regulation 1907/2006 from 1st June 2016. This change outlines the Lead levels and limits allowed for items which could be ‘mouthed’ or ‘sucked’ by young children.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
If the concentration of Lead in articles or accessible parts is equal to or greater than 0.05% by weight, and those articles or accessible parts may, during normal or reasonable foreseeable conditions of use, be placed in the mouth by children, then these articles cannot be placed on the market.
This limit does not apply where it can be demonstrated that the rate of Lead release from an article or accessible part of an article, whether coated or uncoated, does not exceed 0.05μg/cm2 per hour (equivalent to 0.05μg/g/h), and for coated articles, that the coating is sufficient to ensure that this release rate is not exceeded for a period of at least two years of normal reasonable foreseeable conditions of use of the article.
This new legislation covers everything from stationery, shoes and clothes to interior decorations, key rings, pens and sunglasses.
AnchorCert Analytical has been working with clients to identify product lines affected by these recent changes in Lead restrictions. In fact, we've been testing under the regulation since before it officially launched. And we can do it for you. We're even running free Lead seminars through AnchorCert Academy, designed exclusively or specifically for retail buyers and technologists to provide clarity on the main EU legislative requirements for UK retailers.
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