CEN has issued a technical specification document to support the categorization of toy slime type products when testing is conducted against EN 71-3 for the migration of certain elements.
In October 2023, the European Committee for Standardization (Comité Européen de Normalisation, CEN) published CEN/TS 17973:2023 ‘Safety of toys – Categorization of slime type material’.
This technical specification document provides a method to support the categorization of products with slime-like properties and behavior, such as toy slime (free-flowing), effect slime (creeping slime masses) and kneading/modelling slime (quasi-stable pliable compounds), into two material categories when tested against EN 71-3 ‘Migration of certain elements’ for compliance with Directive 2009/48/EC on toy safety in the European Union (consolidated version to December 2022). These two categories are:
- Category 1: dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable toy materials
- Category 2: liquid or sticky toy materials
In addition to a unique set of migration limits for 19 elements for each of the two aforementioned categories of toy materials, it is important to note that boron migration is no more than 1,200 mg/kg under Category 1 toy materials but a more stringent migration limit of 300 mg/kg applies for Category 2.
CEN/TS 17973:2023 contains several important pieces of information. It:
- Outlines two historical methods and their limitations (tube and shape tests)
- Details the ‘rod test’, a newly developed easy-to-use method with acceptable accuracy for determining whether a slime type material falls under Category 1 or 2 in EN 71-3
- Contains an informative Annex A section detailing background information on slimes, including (potential) misleading information on putties and doughs that are designated as ‘slime’ due to very different properties and behavior.
- Comprises an informative Annex B section indicating results from an inter-laboratory trial
CEN members are required to announce the existence of CEN/TS 17973:2023 in the same manner as for an EN standard and to make this CEN/TS technical specification document available promptly at national levels in an appropriate form.
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