Exercise caution when handling Scoubidou bands

They are colourful, pliable and ideally suited to make key chains, necklaces and other small gifts. It’s quite clear that the Scoubidou bands are very popular with children and adolescents. However, examinations by the monitoring authorities of the federal Laender have revealed that Scoubidou bands contain organic solvents, high concentrations of cadmium and considerable amounts of phthalates as the plasticisers. In the opinion of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, they are consequently not suitable as toys for infants.

Scoubidou bands are plastic strings made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). To render this plastic soft and pliable, high concentrations of phthalates are admixed to it as plasticisers. In individual strings they may account for up to 45% (450 g per kg plastic). In over three-quarters of the bands examined, high proportions of more than 30% of plasticisers like diethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) or dibutyl phthalate (DBP) were used. It is common knowledge that high doses of these plasticisers are reprotoxic, i.e. they can impair reproduction and development.

Furthermore, volatile organic compounds like toluene, phenol, 2 and 1-butanol as well as various organotin compounds have been detected in the bands. The light green, violet, yellow, pink and orange parts of some samples also contained high levels of cadmium.

 As long as the critical substances remain in the plastic, they do not constitute a risk to health. What is far more important is the amount which escapes from the bands when children are playing and making things with them or when they are used incorrectly and then come into contact with the body. For instance, when infants put the key chains, necklaces and wristbands into their mouths and chew on them.

Since no reliable measurement results are available at present on the release of plasticisers, solvents and cadmium from the Scoubidou bands, BFR has estimated the possible uptake of the substances from the skin or respiratory tract under the worst case scenario.

In the opinion of BfR, the level of critical substances that in fact escapes from the bands examined and is taken up does not, according to this estimate, constitute any identifiable health risk for children or adolescents. For precautionary reasons, however, BfR considers that products which have a noticeable solvent odour are not suitable toys for children.

Infants who are likely to put toys and other items in their mouths should not play with Scoubidou bands or any jewellery made from them.

BfR deems Scoubidou bands to be toys. In principle, the Institute is of the opinion that in accordance with good manufacturing practice the level of harmful substances should be kept, as far as possible, to a minimum in toys. The same applies to the residual content of volatile substances. In general, less harmful plasticisers should be used for plastics intended for toys.

There are no documents on your notepad

There are no documents in your cart

Cookie Notice

This site only uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more on how we use cookies in our Data Protection Declaration.