SATRA technical services for Toys

The only way to guarantee standards of safety is through rigorous testing and quality control before the toy hits the market.

Toy Testing

SATRA conducts a wide range of toy testing to ensure that toys are safe to use and fit for purpose. Testing to the EN 71 series of test methods can also be used to assess toys against retail performance and environmental specifications and other current legislation.

Essential toy safety

Toxic substances, choking hazards, sharp edges and flammability can all increase the risk of harm to a child. Ensuring that toys are as safe as possible is essential, and toy testing protocols can also be undertaken as part of this risk assessment.

Anyone selling or distributing consumer merchandise in the European Union (EU) is responsible for the safety of the products. If the manufacturer is outside the EU, any investigation and enforcement action related to faulty products focuses on the retailer, distributor or importer.

The main way to guarantee standards of safety is through rigorous toy testing and quality control before the product reaches the market.

SATRA can assess the risk of injury from a toy, as well as carry out analysis for the presence of restricted metals such as lead, chromium and mercury.

Established and effective procedures that ensure toys are quality-assured help demonstrate due diligence and may demonstrate that the supplier has taken all reasonable steps to prevent an inappropriate product from reaching the market.

SATRA can also carry out due diligence testing of other items for children – for example, novelty slippers. A risk assessment is needed to identify any hazards present, some of which will be assessed during toy testing. However, there may be additional hazards that are specific to footwear, such as slip and trip hazards.

SATRA can undertake toy testing to determine whether a product meets the requirements of European Standard EN 71. The three main parts applicable to most toys are:

  • EN 71-1 – ‘Mechanical and Physical Properties’, which includes an assessment for sharp edges, sharp points and choking hazards
  • EN 71-2 - ‘Flammability’ properties of toys, particularly for fancy dress costumes, soft filled toys and mask/wigs
  • EN 71-3 – ‘Migration of Certain Elements’, which assesses a product for restricted heavy metals such lead and cadmium. These metals may be used as stabilisers and pigments in toy materials.


EN71-3 was revised in 2013 to take account of the number of restricted metals being expanded from eight to 19. SATRA has made a significant investment in new equipment to test in accordance with the revised procedure.

Contact

All enquiries to Martin Heels or David Merrell on +44 (0) 1536 410 000 or email chemistry@satra.co.uk