Toy Safety

The certification of imported and national toys in Brazil is one of the existing certification models, being a compulsory (mandatory) activity, which is based on the Brazilian standard NBR 11786 - Toy Safety, published by the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) and regulated by Portaria Inmetro nº 177, of November 30, 1998. This standard, which deals with toy safety, refers to possible risks that, even if not identified by the public, may arise during normal use of toys or even as a result of reasonably foreseeable abuse.


The biggest reason for compulsory toy certification is the recognition of the need to ensure the safety and preservation of human life at the time of use.
The certification of toys, as well as other certified products, is carried out by bodies accredited by Inmetro, based on tests carried out, in the same way, in laboratories accredited by Inmetro.
The tests, carried out in laboratories defined based on the type of toy, are based on the composition of the constituent materials and also on the intention and form of use of the toy by children. After the approval of the toy in all tests to which it is submitted, the Certificate of Confomity and the license for the use of the Conformity Mark are then granted, which demonstrate to the consumer that the product complies with the safety requirements contemplated in NBR 11786. NBR 11786 - TOY SAFETY There is a great concern related to the misuse of the Conformity Mark and the non-use of it, since several products with counterfeit or unsealed stamps can be found on the market, mainly in informal commerce, which can put at risk the consumers of these products.
REFERENCE STANDARDS AND DOCUMENTS 11,786 / 98 - Brazilian Standard for Toy Safety. Law No. 8,078, of September 11, 1990, of the Ministry of Justice (Consumer Protection and Defense Code). Tests provided for in the technical standard NBR 11786 / 98 - Toy Safety.
1. Labeling, Literature and MarkingAll labeling, literature and marking that relates to the safety of the toy, the way it is handled and the age range for which it is intended, must be written in a clear, ostentatious manner and in Portuguese. Among the most important items, we highlight:
Manufacturer Identification: The toy must contain the manufacturer's name or brand legibly and permanently. In addition, the packaging must provide the consumer with the full address of the manufacturer or importer;
Toys that require special warning labeling: Certain toys and packaging must have special warning labeling, necessarily in Portuguese. Some toys must contain, on the main label of the product, the words "CAUTION" or "ATTENTION", in addition to the indication of the risks they present, printed in a contrasting color and highlighted by other words and drawings;
Toy labeling for children up to 3 years old: Toys that may pose risks for children up to 3 years old must carry the following warning in a legible manner:
1. "NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS";
2. The mention of the risk involved;
3. The warning symbol for toys not suitable for children under 3 years of age:
Staples in the packaging: Packages that contain staples and can be opened by children cannot form sharp corners or sharp points. If they are exposed when opening, they must contain the following warning:
“WARNING: PACKAGE CONTAINS CLAMPS - REMOVE BEFORE DELIVERING THE TOY TO THE CHILD”
2. Toxicology Substances known to be hazardous to health should not be used in an amount or form that could affect children. Thus, the standard establishes the maximum values of these chemical elements, as shown in the table below:
Element
Maximum concentration (mg / kg)
Antimony -60
Arsenic -25
Barium -1000
Cadmium -75
Lead -90
Chrome -60
Mercury -60
Selenium -500
These substances are usually called "heavy metals". They are elements that do not exist naturally in any organism, nor do they perform functions - nutritional or biochemical - in microorganisms, plants or animals, that is, the presence of these metals in living organisms is harmful in concentrations above the maximum limit allowed by the relevant legislation.
Lead, for example, mainly contaminates the nervous system, bone marrow and kidneys. The presence of this element in the body interferes with the genetic or chromosomal processes and produces changes in the chromatin stability in guinea pigs, inhibiting DNA repair and acting as a carcinogen.
Chromium compounds, in turn, produce cutaneous, nasal, bronchopulmonary, renal, gastro-intestinal and carcinogenic reactions. The cutaneous are characterized by irritation on the back of the hands and fingers, and can become ulcers. Nasal lesions begin with an inflammatory irritative condition, suppuration and crusted formation. At broncho-pulmonary and gastro-intestinal levels, they produce bronchial irritation, altered respiratory function and gastroduodenal ulcers.
3. Reasonably Predictable Abuse Test This test is intended to simulate the exposure of a toy to mechanical damage due to falling or throwing, in addition to other actions that can be performed by a child. After being subjected to the applicable tests, the toy must not have sharp corners and sharp points, nor risk of releasing small fragments and components that can be swallowed by children.
4. Fall Test All toys must be subjected to this test, which consists of letting them fall from heights that vary according to the age range for which they are intended. It is a simulation of situations that can occur when a toy falls from a crib, a table or other situations in which it has an impact. After the test, there should be no sharp edges, sharp corners or objects at risk of being swallowed.
5. Small objects, tips and dangerous projections The requirements for objects of this nature aim to minimize risks related to the ingestion or inhalation of parts that break or are removed from toys, in addition to eliminating risks related to the shape of the toy and the elements used in the assembly, such as wires, pins, nails and staples, improperly fixed.
Sharp tips and projections may be exposed during normal use or as a result of reasonably foreseeable abuse. These tests also check the risks of injuries that could be caused by a child falling over protruding points.
These toys, suitable for children over 3 years old, must contain the warning symbol for children under 3 years old, and the following warning:
“ATTENTION: NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS FOR CONTAINING SMALL PARTS THAT CAN BE SWALLOWED”.
6. Torsion and traction tests for removing components These tests are performed whenever a toy has a protrusion, a piece or a set of pieces that can be picked up by the child with his hands or mouth. The toy must be fixed in such a way that it is possible to subject its parts to traction and torsion efforts. All tested parts must remain intact after testing.
Specifically for the Toy stroller, the tests of inaccessibility of mechanisms and traction on tires, wheels, axles and axle sets were carried out. As with the tests above, the latter aim to detect parts that present a risk of causing cuts, punctures or of being swallowed. In the test of inaccessibility of mechanisms, it is possible for a child to insert a finger in parts that may cause injury.
7. Ropes and rubber bands Toys containing ropes and rubber bands, intended for children over 3 years old, must have on their packaging the warning symbol for toys not suitable for children under 3 years old and the following warning:
“ATTENTION: NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS FOR CONTAINING A LONG CORD, WHICH THEY CAN KNIT”.
These requirements aim to minimize the risks that can be caused by these materials.
8. Teether testsTooth-type toys are made to be frequently brought to the mouth. Therefore, they should be checked for the possibility of being swallowed or causing any type of discomfort in the child. Existing holes should be designed so that there is no risk of trapping the child's fingers and blocking blood circulation.
The following recommendation should appear on the packaging of this type of toy:
“IT IS RECOMMENDED TO PUT IN BOILING WATER”.
CONSUMER INFORMATION
The consumer, when purchasing a toy, must check the presence of the Inmetro seal and respect the recommendation of the age group for which the product is intended. In addition, you should avoid buying toys in the informal market, the main destination for counterfeit and smuggled products, which have no guarantee of quality and endanger the safety and health of children.
For the correct and safe use of toys, it is important to carefully read the instructions on the packaging and, if in doubt, contact the manufacturer.
When delivering the toy to the child, all packaging must be removed, including staples, rubber bands and safety parts.
Periodically, it is advisable to inspect toys to check for defects or any type of risk, such as loose parts.
For other matters related to toys, access the Consumer Portal (http://www.portaldoconsumidor.com.br/).
COMMENTS It is important to highlight the serious risks of some non-conformities found in this analysis, such as the high lead content found in the plastic doll and the inadequacy of the standard items that check whether toys release small objects or expose sharp points and corners.
The lead content, three times higher than allowed, exposes the child to a cancerous and potentially dangerous element to health, as already reported in item 6.2.
Equally worrying are the non-conformities found in tests that check whether toys release objects small enough to be swallowed or expose sharp points and sharp corners, increasing the risk of injury in use and possible falls on toys. Only the skipping rope was considered compliant with these items, which can cause cuts, blindness, suffocation and, eventually, death (although compliant with these items, other tests have shown that this toy is not safe).
Non-conformities related to mandatory information and the lack of warning symbols and texts should not be seen as less important, as they are what guide parents as to the care they should take with packaging and toys, in addition to indicating the age group proper. These items actually represent the first step towards the safe and proper use of the product.
If the consumer finds products with the counterfeit seal or without the seal in the formal market, report it to the Ombudsman of Inmetro (0800 285-1818), in the case of the formal market and to the city halls in the case of the informal market

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