It should be easy to buy non-toxic furniture, textiles, toys and kitchen equipment for preschools. The Swedish Competition Authority has been commissioned by the Government to develop a requirements package that will help municipalities impose requirements for a reduced incidence of environmentally hazardous and harmful chemicals when conducting procurements for preschools.
As they are small, growing and developing, children are particularly sensitive to any exposure to hazardous chemicals such as endocrine disruptors. Children are a priority group in the Swedish Chemicals Agency's Action Plan for a toxic-free everyday environment.
Children spend a large part of the time they are awake in preschool. Many municipalities have adopted plans to create a preschool environment as toxic-free as possible. In order to assist municipalities in imposing chemical requirements on the products procured for preschools, the Swedish Competition Authority is now introducing new requirements for toys and kitchen and catering equipment as well as updated requirements for furniture and textiles.
“A toxic-free preschool environment is a topic of focus, and now we can offer a complete set of requirements ready to be used by those who wish to reduce the content of environmentally hazardous and harmful substances in products at preschools”, says Dan Sjöblom, Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
The requirements have been developed together with expert groups for each product area that comprise representatives from industry, contracting authorities, environmental organisations and suppliers. The requirements are optional to use and have been developed at a basic level, with some requirements having also been developed at an advanced level.
“Purchasers must be able to use a level of requirements that reflects their needs, goals and available resources. The requirements can be used both for procurements for preschools and for other public operations,” says Anna Christiansson, Project Manager at the Swedish Competition Authority.
Together with the Swedish Chemicals Agency, the Swedish Competition Authority will spread information to purchasers and preschools regarding the new requirements. As a part of this process, interactive guides will be introduced before the summer.
For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, tel. +46 (0)8-700 15 80 or +46(0)76-542 15 80
Anna Christiansson, Project Manager, tel. +46 (0)8-586 21 726