The European Union’s restriction on lead in consumer products was published in the Official Journal on 23 April 2015 as Regulation (EU) 2015/628 , amending the existing lead restriction in entry 63 of Annex XVII to the REACH regulation.
Comparing with the 2nd public consultation , changes were made in the published legal text. Changes include two additional exemptions, as well as the inclusion of a concrete list of the EU regulations that articles within the scope of are exempted. Details of the new restriction on lead in consumer products can be found below.
Scope of restriction
Lead and lead compounds in articles or accessible parts of article that:
are supplied to the general public (i.e. consumers); and
can be placed in the mouth by children during normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use.
the total lead content is < 0.05% by weight (expressed as metal) in the article or accessible parts of the article;
the rate of lead release from the article or any accessible part of the article (whether coated or uncoated) is ≤ 0.05 μg/cm2/h (0.05 μg/g/h).
For coated articles, the coating must be sufficient to ensure that this release rate is not exceeded for a period of at least 2 years of normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use of the article.
The new restriction does not apply to the following:
Jewellery articles covered by existing restriction under entry 63 of Annex XVII to the REACH regulation;
Crystal glass as defined in Annex I to Directive 69/493/EEC;
Non-synthetic or reconstructed precious and semi-precious stones that have not been treated with lead or its compound or mixtures containing these substances;
Keys and locks, including padlocks;
Articles and article parts that are comprised of brass alloys not exceeding 0.5% by weight of lead (expressed as metal);
The tip of writing instruments;
Portable zinc-carbon batteries and button cell batteries;
Articles that are already placed on the market for the first time before 1 June 2016;
Articles within the scope of:
Toy Safety Directive (2009/48/EC);
RoHS (Directive 2011/65/EU);
Framework Regulation on Food Contact Materials (1935/2004);
Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (94/62/EC).