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Amended EC Lead Restriction Effective June 2016

May 13, 2016

In May 2015, the European Commission (EC) published Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/628, amending Annex XVII entry 63 to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as regards lead and its compounds.

The amended requirements will apply to articles placed on the market beginning June 1, 2016.

The restriction covers consumer items if the lead concentration in “articles, or accessible parts thereof, is equal to or greater than 0,05% by weight,” and those articles or accessible parts thereof may “during normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use, be placed in the mouth by children”—meaning it is smaller than 5 cm in one dimension, or has a detachable or protruding part of that size.

That limit shall not apply where it can be demonstrated that the rate of lead release from such an article or any such accessible part of an article, whether coated or uncoated, does not exceed 0,05 μg/cm2 per hour (equivalent to 0,05 μg/g/h), and, for coated articles, that the coating is sufficient to ensure that this release rate is not exceeded for a period of at least two years of normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use of the article.