Printcolor Ltd.
Welschloh 299
8965 Mutschellen/Berikon Aargau Switzerland
+41 (0)56 648 85 85
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Printing Inks for the Toy Industry

Printing Inks for the Toy Industry

Non-toxic inks are a prerequisite for use today in all sectors of the printing industry. Tougher demands are applied to the inks used for printing on commodities, food packaging, medical products and in the toy industry. The latter in particular is facing special challenges, since babies and small children often explore their toys by touching and using their mouths by sucking and chewing. This demands higher safety requirements, especially in terms of the chemicals used in printing inks on toys:

Norms and regulations have thus existed to ensure the safety of toys for years in this sector. They are intended to guarantee compliance with common safety standards within the European Union. This Toys Directive is described in Directive 2009/48/EU. Compliance with the stipulated chemical safety requirements stated in the regulation is also regulated in detail by the EN 71 series of standards (safety of toys). For coloring and printing of toys or toy components, this is primarily EN 71-3:2019.

Limit values for the migration of elements from toy materials according to DIN EN 71-3:2019:

  Migration value
 Element Category I
Category II
Category III
 Aluminium 5625 1406 70000
 Antimony  45 11.3 560
 Arsenic  3.8 0.9 47
 Barium  1500 375 18750
 Boron  1200 300 15000
 Cadmium  1.3 0.3 17
 Chromium (III)  37.5 9.4 460
 Chromium (VI)  0.02 0.005 0.053
 Cobalt  10.5 2.6 130
 Copper  622.5 156 7700
 Lead  2.0 0.5 23
 Manganese  1200 300 15000
 Mercury  7.5 1.9 94
 Nickel  75 18.8 930
 Selenium  37.5 9.4 460
 Strontium  4500 1125 56000
 Tin  15000 3750 180000
 Organotin  0.9 0.2 12
 Zinc  3750 938 46000

The permissible migration values depend on the type of toy material and are divided into three categories according to the table above. Printed toys generally fall into category III. Due to the in part extremely low limit values, which are in the range of trace impurities or ubiquitous quantities, compliance with these limits cannot be guaranteed without analysis of the printed end product. Such analyses can be carried out by accredited laboratories (such as SQTS, SGS Institut Fresenius, Intertek, TÜV). The toy manufacturer is responsible for compliance with the legal requirements for toys.

Based on the knowledge of the raw materials used and with professional processing of the printing inks, Printcolor offers products that comply with the 2009/48/EU directive and thus also EN 71-3:2019. This can be confirmed by laboratory tests on the finished product.

Printing Inks for the Toy Industry - EN 71-3:2013