TÜV warning of holiday souvenirs

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Toys and sunglasses are questionable holiday souvenirs

At home, parents often take great care to ensure that toys and clothing do not endanger the well-being of their child, so the attitude during vacation is often a little more relaxed. According to a current study by TÜV Rheinland, special caution seems to be advised, especially for products from popular European holiday regions.

For the third time, TÜV Rheinland has "embarked on a major European shopping tour" to take a closer look at popular products and souvenirs from the holiday regions. Toys, sunglasses and football shirts were on the TÜV shopping list this year. The TÜV reports that the products purchased "directly on the beach or in souvenir and cheap shops" often did not meet the minimum requirements of the European Union and should not have been sold in the European holiday regions.

Dangerous toys from the holiday regions
The TÜV experts were alarmed by the results of their current tests, as a total of 52 of the 134 items purchased did not meet the requirements of the basic safety standards and labeling requirements of the European Union. In particular, the toys tested showed some significant defects. More than half (28 out of 45) of the toys from holiday regions in Spain (11 toys), Italy (13), the Netherlands (11) and Germany (10) had significant defects. These ranged from missing markings and safety instructions, to small parts that could be swallowed and the possibility of short circuits, to increased levels of phthalates (plasticizers) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained. Both substances are toxic and are considered carcinogenic. According to the TÜV, many of the products pose a significant safety risk for the children and should therefore not be sold.

A total of fourteen of the toy items tested failed the mechanical tests. Small parts that could be swallowed came loose or the toys had clamping points in which children could pinch a finger, for example. Eight products failed the chemical tests because they contained potentially harmful substances such as phthalates and heavy metals, or threatened with “microbiological contamination”, according to the TÜV. In addition, two toys were too flammable and a few more showed deficiencies in terms of electrical safety, for example the battery compartment was not secured or there was a possibility of short circuits.

Almost half of the sunglasses do not meet the requirements
The sunglasses tested performed just as badly as the toys in the TÜV test. Here around 40 percent did not meet the requirements of TÜV Rheinland. Seven out of 16 sunglasses tested from Germany, seven out of 17 glasses from the Netherlands, three out of 12 in Italy and seven out of 15 glasses in Spain failed the test. Among other things, they showed weaknesses in UV protection, roadworthiness, shock resistance, optical quality and the materials used. According to the TÜV, many sunglasses are not recommended due to the proven defects.

All textiles without harmful substances
The football shirts, which were also examined, were a real ray of hope in the current TÜV analysis, in contrast to the toys and sunglasses. The textiles complied with all applicable limit values ​​and were therefore not objectionable from a health point of view. All 29 children's shirts in the test were free of any special contaminants or allergy-causing substances, according to the TÜV report. However, the quality of the football shirts was usually not convincing. Many products were poor in processing. According to TÜV, the cheap shirts are by no means recommendable to buy, because the joy of the products is limited in time due to the processing weaknesses.

Weaknesses of cheap souvenirs
All the articles that TÜV Rheinland took a closer look at in its current study did not cost more than 20 euros at most, some just 99 cents. The fact that no special quality is to be expected for this price should not only apply to the holiday regions. No wonder, then, that numerous products failed the tests. TÜV Rheinland used the minimum requirements of European safety standards as the basis for the assessment. According to the TÜV notification, these include in particular the safety requirements for toys (2009/48 / EG as well as EN 71 and EN 62115), the chemicals regulation REACH 1907/2006 EG (Annex XVII; ban on certain phthalates) and the standard DIN EN 1836: 2007 for Sunglasses. (fp)

Also read:
Allergies from fragrances in children's toys
Children's perfume contains allergy substances
Health hazard from children's toys
Dangerous pollutants in children's toys
Children's clothing often contains pollutants

Photo credit: Rosel Eckstein / pixelio.de

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