New report: Hazardous substances in articles and materials

Tracking sources of hazardous substances is one part of the NonHazCity project. To learn
more about the content of hazardous substances in articles and materials, a range of indoor
items were analysed for a selection of chemicals, with a focus on items commonly found in
preschools.

New and old toys, creative material, mattresses and other interior items from preschools were
analysed for a selection of hazardous substances including phthalates and alternative
plasticisers, brominated flame retardants (BFR), organophosphorous flame retardants (OFR),
chlorinated paraffins (CP) and highly fluorinated substances (PFAS). Furthermore,
formamide was also analysed for in certain types of material. The purpose was to investigate
to what extent hazardous substances are found in articles and materials used in preschools,
and thereby motivate preschools to dispose of articles that may contain hazardous substances,
and check compliance of contracted suppliers with set criteria and legislation.

The results from the study provide support for the recommendations to discard certain articles
and materials since the concentration of hazardous substances in a considerable number of the
old toys and articles greatly exceeded the current legislative limits. Furthermore, the study
shows that non-toy material, i.e. items which are not intended for play, may contain hazardous
substances. By discarding old, as well as high risk items as the preschools have done, the
amount of hazardous substances present in the indoor environment has been reduced.

On the other hand, the present survey indicates that newly purchased items from the procured
assortment are, in most cases, free from the analysed substances or well below restricted
levels. This shows that the legislation has had effect and that replacement of old material with
new will effectively reduce the levels of hazardous substances in the preschool indoor
environment.

Read the full report here

Read Appendix 3 here