Joint NGO letter to MEPs to vote for toxic-free toys

Joint NGO letter to MEPs to vote for toxic-free toys


24 NGOs, including HEJSupport, sent a letter to the European Parliamentarians ahead of the vote on the Toys Safety legislation stressing that a ban on PFAS and bisphenols is urgently needed. In addition, a broadening of the scope of the restriction of other harmful chemicals has to be included.

Brussels, 5th of March 2024
Re: Vote for toxic-free toys

Dear Member of the European Parliament,
In the March plenary session, you will vote on the revision of the Toys Safety legislation. Health, environment and human rights stakeholders from all over Europe are calling on you to vote for a regulation that guarantees the highest level of health protection for all children. The current Toys Safety Directive does not adequately protect children from the most harmful chemicals in toys – this was made very clear by the European Commission’s evaluation in 2020. (1) You too have recognised this failure in 2022 and asked the Commission to fix it.(2) The Environment committee voted almost unanimously for a reform that protects children’s health. It is essential that these improvements are part of the final report to be adopted at the March Plenary. We call on you to support this position and to particularly
ensure that the new regulation:

– Restricts the ‘forever chemicals’, PFAS, and bisphenols in toys

– Broadens the scope for restricting other harmful chemicals, such as those that arebioaccumulative, persistent and mobile

Children are particularly vulnerable to harmful chemicals and have higher probabilities of
adverse health effects, some of which can have a lifelong impact. These substances are linked
to certain types of cancer, and can impair the immune and endocrine systems – they can have
adverse impacts even at very low doses. PFAS chemicals, known as ‘forever chemicals’
because they take generations to break down, can accumulate inside children’s bodies.(3) It is
only normal for EU lawmakers to guarantee that children are given the adequate care and
attention based on all the scientific evidence available. Providing protection against exposure to the most harmful chemicals, such as PFAS and bisphenols is essential for the EU to respect the rights of children to health, education, play and physical integrity. These rights are enshrined in UN and EU binding agreements. To uphold them, the EU must guarantee the highest level of toy safety through the current revision process.
Our community of NGOs, consumers, medical and parents associations is counting on
your support to vote for children’s health, rights and safety! We are available for further exchanges and would also like to inform you that this letter will be made public.

Best regards,
Stefan Scheuer, Chief EU Policy advocate at CHEM Trust, on behalf of the following

Arnika – Toxics and Waste Programme
Bond Beter Leefmilieu
Cantine sans plastique
Center for International Environmental Law
CHEM Trust
Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
Corporate Europe Observatory
Ecologistas en Acción
European Environmental Bureau
Générations Futures
Health and Environment Alliance
Health and Environment Justice Support
Hogar sin Tóxicos
International Society of Doctors for Environment
Mutualités Libres/Onafhankelijke Ziekenfondsen
Réseau Environnement Santé
Wen (Women’s Environmental Network)
Women Engage for a Common Future

(1) European Commission, evaluation of the Toy Safety Directive (19 Nov. 2020)
(2) European Parliament, resolution – Implementation of the Toy Safety Directive (16 Feb. 2022)
(3) European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology, statement – The Detrimental Impact of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances on Children (9 Nov. 2023)

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Written by Alexandra Caterbow