How safe is 3D printed plastic for children?
Christmas is the best time for kids! And many kids (even the big kids that we are) are dreaming of 3D printed surprises like one from the uglyaddons or Amazon!! However you’ve been quite a few to show concern about the 3D printed product’s safety. Before we all eat too much and play too much, let’s be serious for 5 minutes. Could you offer a toy made with 3D printed plastic? This week is a good opportunity for us to highlight the difficult matter of safety and 3D printing.
If you are a Sculpteo client, you’ve probably noticed this warning on our invoices: ‘Caution : 3D printed objects are not toys and must not be given to children. They must not come in contact with food and drink and should be kept away from any heat sources or electricity.’
Is that all there is to say? Definitely not. The subject needs more answers and stands at the crossroads of law, chemistry and common sense. Here is what can be said:
- A product can be declared as a toy when it fulfills strict conditions of safety regarding materials, shape, packaging etc… Detailed regulations have been settled by each State, so the conditions can vary a lot depending on where you live.
- For instance, European Community has written the n° 2009/48/CE directive about the safety of the toys, that have been translated in French regulation under the norms NF EN-71. In the US, the product needs to respect the Children Product Safety Act.
- Polyamide 2200 is the real name of plastic material that we 3d print at Sculpteo. This material is not dangerous and is established as a food safe material by an independant laboratory.
- At Sculpteo we 3D print in high volume, that’s our job. Our job is not to check the use and the purpose of every product ordered. By default, we can only give you the gentle warning that we put on the invoices.
So, it’s up to you to check if your products respect regulations for children safety or not!
However, we did a little experiment what we’d like to share with you. We checked a phone case with a toy testing lab this summer and we passed all the tests succesfully (expcept for the packaging that we haven’t provided for the test.). Here is a summary of the results.
We are encouraging you to apply for the same tests if you are willing to sell your 3d printed products. It’s not complusory for private 3D prints, but keep in mind that you are responsible for your gifts…and the products you offer to your customers.
Having said that, we wish you HAPPY HOLIDAYS !