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Norm EN 71-3: paints for toys

Even the most innocent toy in the hands of an ingenious little person can be dangerous. Each product of this type must therefore be thoroughly tested before being released into circulation. Requirements for toys are set out, inter alia, European Standard EN 71. One of its parts, EN 71-3, is particularly important for the dyeing industry. It concerns the migration of harmful elements also from products such as paints and varnishes.

Safety for ToysValid version

In the currently valid version, EN 71-3 specifies limits and methodology for testing migration of eight elements. Antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium (III), lead, mercury and selenium. All materials from which the toy is made have to be subjected to testing. These include all kinds of coatings, and moreover laminates, tracing materials , paper, glass, ceramic or wooden elements.


The standard does not apply to the packaging (unless it is an integral part of the toy or plays any additional role related to it). As well as any toys or parts thereof that. Due to their function, weight or availability, preclude the child from licking or swallowing. Threatening and requiring to be examined in the light of this norm are only those elements that may go against the mouth of a small person against their destiny. Therefore, the research methodology specified in the document includes simulating the effect of gastric acid on the test material to check how it behaves in such conditions.


Tests are carried out by independent laboratories, and on the basis of the results obtained, the appropriate certification body certifies the safety of the toy.

In June 2013, a new version of EN 71-3 was published, containing tightened limits and extended with an additional set of elements. Including aluminum, boron, chromium (VI), cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, strontium, tin and zinc. Toy manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of paints, varnishes and other materials used in the production of this type of goods. They have a few months to get ready for new recipes and certify their paints.


All the best,


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