Germany will formulate new standards for the toy 'Blue Angel' award in 2014
It is reported that Germany may formulate new standards for the toy 'Blue Angel' award in 2014. Katherina Reiche, secretary of the National Parliament for Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of the Federal Ministry of the Environment of Germany, requires consumers to receive better information on the environmental impact and health hazards of toys. According to a related statement, the secretary of the country’s parliament said that the harm to children’s health should be eliminated, and the implementation of the 'Blue Angel' eco-label across the country will help explain the problem. The so-called 'Blue Angel' is the first product and service-related environmental label to be implemented in the world. It was founded in 1978 by the German Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs and approved by the Federal Minister of Environment and the Federal Government. 'Blue Angels' are considered to be a means of market compliance in terms of environmental policy, with the purpose of distinguishing positive environmental characteristics of products and services on a voluntary basis. Today, about 11,700 products and services in about 125 categories have implemented the Blue Angel eco-label. The product and service groups covered by Blue Angel include: office and household products, decoration and construction products, garden products, so-called 'home and life' products, electronic and electrical equipment, thermal energy products, and more mobile products. The German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) and environmental labeling judges have defined and stipulated the relevant requirements and testing methods for so-called eco-friendly and lighter health hazard products compared to other conventional products. Blue Angel has sent a strong signal to production plants and trading companies, urging them to develop and sell such ecologically beneficial products. The product standards of the Blue Angel Award are reviewed and revised by Umweltbundesamt every three or four years. For consumers, they can make a sober judgment on Blue Angel label products and make them switch to better and less harmful products. The blue angel is regarded as a reliable help when buying products: this may have special significance for the relevant toy industry. Recently, Stiftung Warentest, the German consumer and product testing association, launched a survey that showed that it is possible to produce toys that do not pose a risk to children's health. However, in research, it was found that more than 50% of all inspected products contained hazardous substances in toy surface paint, plywood, and cables. The study examined 30 wooden toys suitable for children over 3 years old. The inspected wooden toys include baby touch ring bells, baby stroller bubble chains, smart toys, wooden intellectual toys, pull-push animal toys, building blocks and vehicle toys. According to the test results, especially a smart toy and a baby stroller bubble chain have the risk of letting children swallow loose small parts. As for the dangerous substances found in other toys (such as in a push-pull animal toy, several toy cars, and some intellectual toys), they include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nickel, nitrosated substances, organotin and formaldehyde. Surface paint is particularly dangerous. The 14 toys inspected met good standards or were satisfactory. Eight toys are good, most of them originated in Germany, but there are also toys from mainland China and Vietnam. It is reported that the Department of Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of the Federal Ministry of Environment hopes that more toys with the blue angel label will be more environmentally friendly and provide better protection for children before Christmas in 2014.