Water toys: 20 out of 50 are falling through

T V-Test finds pollutants and deficiencies in air mattresses, toys and swimming seats

Inflatable water toys and baby swimming seats in the TÜV test © TÜV Rheinland AG
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Just in time for the summertime, inspectors from TÜV Rheinland have bought in European holiday regions: At beach booths or in souvenir shops they purchased a total of 50 inflatable swimming animals, air mattresses and floating seats for babies and then tested them in the lab. The bar: the European minimum standards. The result: 20 out of 50 bath products are unlikely to be sold in the European Union at all. They do not meet the basic safety requirements.

The TÜV Rheinland experts bought the inflatable water toys between May and July in Germany, Belgium, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain - each for a maximum of ten euros. Subsequently, the products were tested in test laboratories for their marketability and safety. The focus was on mechanical and chemical tests as well as the labeling of the products and the necessary warnings.

Kippelige floating seats

The result: In 20 of the 50 products, the testers found deficiencies. In six cases, the testers found prohibited swimming seats for babies and small children. In several of these models, the children could slip out of the seat. For others, there is a risk that the children capsize immediately in the water because the sitting position is too high and the child protrudes too far out of the water. "These inflatable floating seats are life threatening. They pretend safety to their parents, which they do not offer at all, "explains TÜV expert Christiane Reckter.

Therefore, such seats are absolutely prohibited. Safe swim aids or children's swimming seats should not be designed like colorful water toys. In addition, they must be marked with instructions for use and safety and must fulfill the requirements of the standard series EN 13138-1 or EN 13138-3. This must also be on the packaging and the product. TÜV Rheinland has immediately reported the prohibited swimming seats to the authorities.

High load with plasticizers and toxins

In addition to the six forbidden children's swimming seats, the researchers found five inflatable toys that released small parts such as valve stoppers and six water toys that contained unacceptably high levels of various pollutants. Above all, the high levels of phthalate softeners found are an invisible hazard. They were above the limits allowed for toys as a limit. Phthalates are suspected to be hormonal and carcinogenic. Other products contained elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These are also suspected of causing cancer and are toxic. Technically, these substances are avoidable. display

In the case of three other products, the testers also found misleading and thus dangerous labels and, in the case of several candidates, a non-standard implementation of the warnings or other prescribed labels. Some of the experts were able to establish a connection between the care taken when dealing with the formal requirements and the good of the product: if misprints or a faulty version had already been found in the instructions for use or in the warnings, then this had happened Oversized product usually also a security problem.

Better buy at major retail chains

In general, professionals recommend buying from secure sources and from major retail chains that have quality assurance. Also, vacationers can control even when buying some things themselves: Do the plastic products smell extremely strong and unpleasant? Do the toys have sharp edges and is the plastic extremely thin? Then it's better to keep your hands off and save money.

The researchers of the T V Rheinland carried out this holiday test for the fourth time already: in 2009 over 60 percent of the purchased articles were sold, in 2010 over 35 percent and in 2012 almost 40 percent of the products were filled not even the minimum requirements of the European Union for transportability. Although there is a slight positive trend compared to previous years, there are still dangerous items to buy.

All results of the T V Rheinland test on the Internet.

(T V Rheinland AG, 17.07.2013 - NPO)