Polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Little Pro on 2016-06-21

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are well-known to be hazardous for human health and the environment. Many of them  are classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and reprotoxic in the categories 1A, 1B, or 2 according to the CLP Regulation (EC 1272/2008). As very common environmental contaminants, PAHs can be found in a number of consumer products and are restricted due to their high concerns. 


PAHs are included in REACH Annex XVII restricted substances list. 8 PAHs are restricted in tyres/extender oils, articles supplied to the general public and children's articles. The 8 PAHs are:

  1. Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) CAS No 50-32-8
  2. Benzo[e]pyrene (BeP) CAS No 192-97-2
  3. Benzo[a]anthracene (BaA) CAS No 56-55-3
  4. Chrysen (CHR) CAS No 218-01-9
  5. Benzo[b]fluoranthene (BbFA) CAS No 205-99-2
  6. Benzo[j]fluoranthene (BjFA) CAS No 205-82-3
  7. Benzo[k]fluoranthene (BkFA) CAS No 207-08-9
  8. Dibenzo[a,h]anthracene (DBAhA) CAS No 53-70-3

The restriction conditions are listed as follows:

Products Limit
Tyres and extender oils <=1 mg/kg BaP, or, <= 10 mg/kg  of the sum of all listed PAHs.

Articles supplied to the general public if any of their rubber or plastic components that come into direct as well as prolonged or short-term repetitive contact with the human skin or the oral cavity.

Example include:

  • sport equipment such as bicycles, golf clubs, racquets
  • household utensils, trolleys, walking frames
  • tools for domestic use
  • clothing, footwear, gloves and sportswear
  • watch-straps, wrist-bands, masks, head-bands  
<=1 mg/kg of any of the listed PAHs.

Toys and children's articles

<=0.5 mg/kg of any of the listed PAHs.


PAHs Restriction in Germany

In 2014, the Product Safety Commission (AfPS) in Germany has set the new requirements of PAH testing in the course of GS mark certification in AfPS GS 2014:01 PAK. The new standard restricts 18 PAHs in articles and consumer products. The restriction limits can be found in the table below.

PAHs GS mark

PAHs Restriction References

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 Tags: Topics - RestrictionSubstance Restriction in Articles