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Germany must adjust limit values in toys for arsenic, antimony and mercury, but the decision by EU regulators on lead values is flawed, the General Court ruled Wednesday.
The challenge stems from a new toys directive that the EU adopted in 2009, laying down new limit values for heavy metals and other chemical substances present in toys.
Germany voted against the directive because it felt that its national limit values for lead, barium, antimony, arsenic and mercury offered a higher level of protection.
It requested permission to maintain its old values, but the European Commission rejected that request in 2012 with regard to antimony, arsenic and mercury.
As for lead and barium, the commission said Germany would have to change its limit values after July 21, 2013.
Germany sued to have that decision annulled, and the General Court let the country maintain the five limit values in question as the case advanced.
In mostly confirming the commission’s decision Wednesday, the court said Germany failed to show that its “limit values, which correspond to the old EU standard, ensure a higher level of protection than the new European limit values.”
The decision is not available in English.
In the new directive for arsenic, antimony and mercury, there is consideration of “migration limits, the risk to health being regarded as linked to the quantity of a given harmful substance that may be released by a toy before being absorbed by a child,” the court said in a statement.
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