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Health: UFC-Que Choisir urges no more buying ballpoint pens for kids

The production of school supplies is not well controlled and many have been found to contain potentially hazardous ingredients, according to UFC-Que Choisir, which urges parents to avoid buying ballpoint pens in particular.

The Consumer Protection Association is “advising parents not to buy ballpoint pens for their children, given the cocktail of harmful substances found in all samples tested,” according to a press release published Thursday.

A few days before the start of the school year, the association actually tested about thirty school products (pens, markers or markers) and concluded that almost half of them contained potentially dangerous components.

These are “phthalates that disrupt the reproductive function and the endocrine system, carcinogenic impurities, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, isothiazolinones, benzyl alcohol, toluene and benzene,” the association lists.

It is known that these components can cause multiple pathologies, from allergies to cancer, even if this risk remains theoretical in the absence of studies of possible specific effects on the health of schoolchildren.

However, health authorities are taking the risk seriously enough that one of them, the National Health Security Agency (Anses), was concerned at the start of the summer.

Based on the work, which also included previous UFC-Que Choisir tests, he found the legislation insufficient at both French and European levels.

She asked for European legislation to be brought into line with the much stricter rules for toys, in response to a request long since made by the UFC-Que Choisir.

The latter repeated this during Thursday’s inspection, deciding that it proved the insufficiency of the current rules and asking France to bring the matter to the European level.

“Almost none of these products are illegal in terms of their composition due to European regulations that are as casual as they are grotesque,” ​​she said.

However, there is one exception: a pen bought from a B&M store is already considered illegal, according to the association, which is demanding its immediate removal.

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