The EU is getting tough on imports of plastic kitchenware made in China amid growing anxiety about its safety.
Monitoring of the Chinese products will be tightened up following an increasing number of complaints from member states of the EU, which says there are significant shortcomings in China’s control systems.
The concern is over the level of primary aromatic amines and formaldehyde contained in the kitchenware.
Primary aromatic amines, which can be added to plastics, can cause cancer, and one form has been found in dangerous levels in black nylon kitchen tools made in China.
Over-exposure to formaldehyde, which is combined with melamine to make melamine tableware and kitchen tools, can also pose several risks to health.
The safety of melamine is also periodically called into question but, as reported on HousewaresLive.net earlier this week, a test carried out on certain products by researchers in Hong Kong recently concluded that they posed no risk.
The EU has ruled that, as of now, plastic kitchenware from China must be imported with a declaration stating that it complies with EU limitations on the two chemicals.
Then, from July next year, proper regulation of the import conditions will come into force, with member states carrying out additional analytical checks on 10% of plastic kitchenware consignments.