These dolls are believed to pose a serious chemical-related risk to consumers

Amsterdam, January 15 2019 – This doll is dangerous. According to the European Commission’s consumer safety initiative, Safety Gate, it contains high levels of the chemical DEHP, which may harm children’s health by “causing possible damage to the reproductive system”. The risk level for this doll is categorized as serious —  DEHP, which acts as a plasticizer, is found in the doll’s head at 19% (by weight). It behaves as an endocrine disruptor and has been shown to affect childhood development and thyroid function in addition to the reproductive system.

It’s not just this doll. A scan of weekly reports of unsafe products generated by Safety Gate reveals a wide range of items, from clothing to face-paint to household appliances, that are considered unfit for consumption yet are readily available on the European market. To counter this, the Rapid Alert System for Dangerous Non-Food Products keeps a database on the thousands of harmful products within the EU; there have been 17,622 alerts across 31 countries since 2011 alone. Once an alert has been submitted, the European Commission facilitates the exchange of information between 31 countries, which often results in the unsafe product being recalled, discontinued, or stopped from entering the EU altogether.

Within this system, harmful goods are categorized according to their hazard type (i.e. fire, chemical, choking, injuries, suffocation), and level (“serious” and “other”). The database is updated on a weekly basis, and this information is disseminated to consumers through the initiative’s website and twitter account.

Have a look and see how many products you would possibly buy yourself;  these plastic dolls, for example (and this one, and this one…), are believed to pose a serious chemical-related risk to consumers. This classification is determined according to REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals) criteria. There is a clear relationship between frequently used additives in plastic and human health. Stay informed!