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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are carcinogenic organic compounds that may be present in petrochemical products, rubber, plastics, lubricants, anti-rusting oil and incomplete combustion products of organic compounds. They may also be found in the plastic and rubber parts of electrical and electronic products as residue from the manufacturing process.
In May 2019, the German Product Safety Commission (AfPS) revised the restrictions on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in voluntary GS certification in Germany and published a new standard, AfPS GS 2019:01 PAK. The new standard, officially launched by the German Federal Occupational Safety and Health Agency (BAuA) on its official website, will come into force on 1 July 2020 and replace the old standard "AfPS GS 2014:01 PAK".

Key amendments include:

  • Removal of three substances (Acenaphthene, Acenaphthylene, and Fluorene) and the number of controlled substances is reduced from 18 to 15 items
  • Revision of product category definitions

New PAHs requirements for GS certification (effective July 1, 2020)

Item Class 1  Class 2 Class 3
Materials in toys and childcare articles according to definition in 2009/48/EC; intended to be put into mouth or with long term skin contact (longer than 30s) Materials that are not part of Category 1, designed to be in long-term (more than 30s) or short-term repetitive skin contact  Materials not in Categories 1 and 2, designed to be in short-term contact skin contact (no more than 30s) 

Products for children (age of 14 or younger) (Direct or Indirect contact) 

Other Products  Products for children (age of 14 or younger) (Direct or Indirect contact)  Other Products
Benzo[a]pyrene, Benzo[e]pyrene, Benzo[a]anthracene; Benzo[b]fluoranthene; Benzo[j]fluoranthene; Benzo[k]fluoranthene; Chrysene; Dibenzo[a,h]anthracene; Benzo[ghi]perylene; Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene  < 0.2 ppm per PAH < 0.2 ppm per PAH < 0.5 ppm per PAH < 0.5 ppm per PAH < 1 ppm per PAH
Phenanthrene, Pyrene, Anthracene, Fluoranthene   Sum < 1 ppm  Sum < 5 ppm Sum < 10 ppm Sum < 20 ppm Sum < 50 ppm
Naphthalene  < 1 ppm < 2 ppm < 10 ppm
Sum of 15 PAH concentrations < 1 ppm < 5 ppm < 10 ppm < 20 ppm < 50 ppm

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