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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 Conflicting national standards are to be withdrawn by December 2021.

SAFEGUARDS | Toys & Juvenile ProductsNO. 010/21

 SG 01021 Instructions

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
Section Title Highlights of changes
Clause 1 Scope
  • Clarifies that combined sets, e.g. a combination of a chemistry set and a crystal set are not within the scope
Clause 4.1.1 Inclusion 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 4.1.2 Inclusion 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 1 Maximum 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 2 Maximum 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 3 Maximum 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 4 Maximum 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 5 Maximum 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 5.2.4.2 Crystal 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 5.5 Eye 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 8.3.3 Carbon 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 71-4:2013 Test methods for closures of reagent containers
  • Deleted
Annex A Rationale
  • 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).

SGS offers a wide range of services to ensure that your products comply with the EU Toy Safety Directive. We offer training, safety/risk assessment, technical documentation check, labelling review, testing according to harmonized standards, SVHC screening, inspections and audits. We operate the world’s largest network of toy experts and testing facilities – around 20 toy laboratories worldwide, including 3 EU Notified Bodies (France, Germany and Netherlands). In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Contact us for more information or visit our website

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