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CEN Publishes EN 71-4:2020 ‘Experimental Sets for Chemistry and Related Activities’

SafeGuardSToys and Juvenile ProductsJanuary 26, 2021

CEN has published EN 71-4:2020 for experimental sets for chemistry and related activities. Conflicting national standards are to be withdrawn by December 2021.

In December 2020, the European Committee for Standardization (Comité Européen de Normalisation, CEN) published EN 71-4:2020 ‘Experimental sets for chemistry and related activities’. This method defines the requirements for the maximum quantity or concentration of certain substances and mixtures that are used in experimental sets for chemistry and related activities, including crystal growing sets, carbon dioxide generating experimental sets and supplementary sets.

Highlights of several important changes in EN 71-4:2020 when compared to the 2013 version are summarized in Table 1.

EN 71-4:2020 ‘Experimental Sets for Chemistry and Related Activities
SectionTitleHighlights of changes
Clause 1Scope
  • Clarifies that combined sets, e.g. a combination of a chemistry set and a crystal set are not within the scope
Clause 4.1.1Inclusion in the chemistry set
  • Permits food additives and their mixtures (Regulation (EC) 1333/2008) to be supplied if pure food additives or mixtures are not classified as hazardous 
Clause 4.1.2Inclusion for experiments (as mentioned in the instructions but not supplied in the chemistry set)
  • Inclusion of starch and flour as examples of other non-hazardous substances or mixtures which may be suggested in instructions 
Table 1Maximum amounts of chemical substances and mixtures for chemistry sets and labeling
  • Entry for iron fillings/iron powder is separated into two distinct entries with each substance having its own set of pictogram and signal word
  • Amends pictogram and/or signal word for 15 substances/mixtures other than iron fillings/iron powder mentioned above 
Table 2Maximum amounts and concentrations of indicators for chemistry sets and labeling
  • Completely new ‘GHS08’ pictogram and ‘Warning’ signal word for iodine (0.025 g/ml in an aqueous solution (0.025 g/ml) of potassium iodide)
Table 3Maximum concentration of reagents not supplied with chemistry set and labeling
  • Revises pictogram to GHS05 for ammonia solution and hydrochloric acid, as well as changing the signal word to ‘Danger’ for the latter substance 
Table 4Maximum amounts of chemical substances for crystal growing sets and labeling 
  • Revises pictogram and/or signal word for four substances – copper (II) sulfate, potassium hexacyanoferrate (III), sodium silicate and tartaric acid
Table 5Maximum amounts of chemical substances for carbon dioxide generating experimental sets and labeling 
  • Revises pictogram to GHS05 and signal word to ‘Danger’ for tartaric acid
Clause 5.2.4

Packaging and closures

  • The requirements on closures for child-resistant containers have been revised by permitting only closures in compliance with EN ISO 8317:2015
Clause growing sets
  • Inclusion of potassium hexacyanoferrate (III) to the list of crystal growing substances that must be supplied in child-resistant containers in Table 4
Clause 5.5Eye protection
  • Completely new requirement for eye protection to be provided with carbon dioxide generating experimental sets containing substances with ‘GHS05’ pictogram in Table 5 
Clause 8.3.3Carbon dioxide generating experimental sets
  • The safety rule phrase ‘Always wear eye protection’ must be given for such sets containing substances with pictogram GHS05 in Table 5
Annex A to EN 71-4:2013Test methods for closures of reagent containers
  • Deleted
Annex ARationale
  • Expands former Annex B with rationales for 1) combined sets, 2) use of substances/mixtures not provided with a chemistry set and 3) marks, labeling and warnings

Table 1

According to EN 71-4:2020, this standard will be given the status of a national standard by June 2021 and conflicting national standards are to be withdrawn by December 2021 at the very latest. This standard is expected to be harmonized under Directive 2009/48/EC (Toy Safety Directive, TSD), upon official acceptance by the European Commission (EC) and by publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

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