The aim of the focus action "Plasticizers and PAHs in inflatable water toys and other inflatable toys" was to check for banned plasticizers. Furthermore, it was checked whether the limit values for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were complied with. 40 samples from all over Austria were examined. 35 samples were rejected:
- The predominant reason for complaint was insufficient/missing EC declarations of conformity or labeling deficiencies.
- The use of prohibited phthalates was detected in four samples.
- No sample had to be rejected because of PAHs.
Phthalates are plasticizers used to make brittle plastics such as PVC elastic. Phthalates have different effects on human health. All phthalates are suspected of having a negative effect on the human hormone system. Toys must therefore not contain certain phthalates above 0.1%. PAHs are carcinogenic substances formed by incomplete combustion processes or pyrolysis of organic materials (wood, coal, gasoline, oil, tobacco, waste) or food (grilling, frying, smoking, drying). PAHs are solid, mostly colorless, chemically stable but photosensitive compounds. They are lipophilic (fat-soluble), and are sparingly soluble in water. Detailed requirements for the safety of toys are contained in the European standard EN 71. Certain safety requirements are specified for water toys, e.g. with regard to the durability of air inlets.