TPE for baby articles with highest requirements
The safety of our TPE plastics for baby items is one of our most important quality features. After all, it can be assumed that some products for babies or infants will find their way into children's mouths during use. In its 88/378/EEC Directive, the EU has therefore specified that heavy metals in toys may only be dissolved in volumes which are harmless to children's health. DIN EN 71-3 “Safety of toys – Part 3: Migration of certain elements” specifies limit values for the various elements for extraction from toy material in an attempt to implement the Directive. When selecting TPE materials for rattles, teething rings, bath toys or grip toys, attention should be given to dispensing with heavy metals, plasticizers, PAH and nitrosamines, for example.
Accordingly, since December 27, 2015, new and binding limit values have applied for PAH for all consumer products and toys sold in the EU. After many federal and state authorities as well as consumer protection organizations had in recent years found high levels of PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) classified as a carcinogenic in toys, sports and household equipment, tools, clothing etc., the Directive (EU) No. 1272/2013 specified “... that products whose designated PAH exceeds a specified limit value may no longer be circulated among the general public if they contain parts which come into contact with skin or the oral cavity when used in normal situations”. For consumer products, this limit value corresponds with one milligram per kilogram (mg/kg) for each individual PAH compound. This value was reduced further for toys and items for small children or infants and may not exceed 0.5 mg/kg.
Environmentally friendly alternatives to PVC & silicone
SOFT EST.® compounds by ACTEGA DS do not contain any PAH components. Furthermore, attempts have also been made to dispense with other critical chemicals for the protection of mothers and their babies. These TPE compounds, for example, do not contain PVC, other problematic plasticizers, BPA, silicone or latex. They are also free of heavy metals and feature adhesive properties toward other plastics, depending on the respective requirements and application.
The latter in particular is of importance as babies are very susceptible to all germs and viruses with a potential to make them ill. Accordingly, anything which comes into contact with skin or the mucus membranes must be kept as clean and germ-free as possible. Boiling pacifiers, baby bottle teats etc. or pouring hot water over them can help – without damaging the products made of ACTEGA DS TPE as they can be sterilized.
Temperature stable TPE to boil out baby soothers & co.
Another possibility for attributing baby items a protective additional advantage is represented by the antimicrobial additives to our SOFT EST.® TPE compounds. These antimicrobial properties are integrated during the compounding process, with the result that the germ-resistant effect is not restricted to the surface but also applies for the entire product or area manufactured from this thermoplastic elastomer. This also means that these properties are not affected by external impacts such as scratches, excessive use or wear over a certain period of time.
Tests based on the JIS Z 2801 and ISO 22196:2007 indicate that this antimicrobial protection is 99.9% effective, keeping the handles of the baby bath, the anti-slip nubs on the child toilet seat or even a mother's breast pump germ-free and safe at all times.
Another focus on the part of the material manufacturer must be given to low migration, conformity with food standards and safety. Exactly these features were given stringent consideration in the composition of SOFT EST.® TPE mixtures for the baby market. ACTEGA DS can provide assurance that all products coming into contact with food, e.g. baby bottles and spoons, bowls and cutlery, correspond with EU Directive 10/2011 and comply with the highest demands on cleanliness, hygiene and purity.