January/February 2014


Gifts that can be hazardous

IECQ promotes safety in electronic components

Aliyah Esmail

Children born in the 1990s probably can’t remember what it was like without internet access, when making a mixed tape was cool or when the newest game from Sega was the Christmas gift that everyone yearned for. Since that time kids’ toys and children’s own technological understanding have advanced. But how safe is that robotic dog that you want to buy for your child?

Parents have to pick electronic toys carefully

There are more toys in the world than can be packed in any one store and thousands of new devices come into the market every year. Now there are toys that are so technologically advanced that parents need text books to figure out how to help their child assemble them. Quite apart from the cool factor of having toys that include electronic components, parents need to be careful that the objects that they are giving their children have been tested and certified.

Threats to a child’s safety

One of the issues associated with electronic components is that some of them may contain hazardous substances such as lead, cadmium or mercury. In toys this could be a disaster if a child dismantles the object and puts the components in its mouth.


Once the toy is no longer wanted, there could be problems with handing the toy on, as it could be unsafe for the next child that uses it or it could harm the environment. Manufacturers everywhere are trying to restrict the use of hazardous substances in electronic products and components.

IECQ supports safety

IECQ (IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components) has the perfect solution for toy manufacturers who want to create safe and certified electronic toys that have hazardous substance-free electronic components.


IECQ HSPM (Hazardous Substance Process Management) is a technically-based management systems approach to implementing and maintaining hazardous substance-free products and production processes. IECQ HSPM was developed in response to the need for component manufacturers to enable suppliers to demonstrate, through third-party assessment, that their electrical and electronic components and assemblies meet specific hazardous substance-free local, national and international requirements.


IECQ HSPM Certification provides confidence on a worldwide scale that companies operate systems that comply with the IECQ Specification, QC 080000. This specification details the management and technical requirements that IECQ HSPM certified companies need to undertake to provide the market with full confidence concerning the control of hazardous substances.


This means that toys using electronic components from suppliers that are certified under HSPM are manufactured with hazardous substance-free electronic components. However, it does not provide parents with the guarantee that their kids won’t tear apart their new cool toy while they’re not looking, resulting in the destruction of their house.

About IECQ

As a worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components, assemblies and associated materials and processes, IECQ allows manufacturers and suppliers to provide independent verification that the specifications (including IEC International Standards) are met. This gives end manufacturers the reassurance of knowing that suppliers holding IECQ certification do not need stringent second party assessment or monitoring.


The plethora of electronic components and processes covered by IECQ are used in all kinds of technologies, from the smallest device to the most complex piece of equipment. IECQ’s contribution to a safer and more reliable world can only increase with the development of new technologies and state-of-the-art electronic devices.


  • Though toys with electric components are cool to have, parents need to be careful that these components have been tested and certified
  • Eliminating hazardous substances from toys also helps deal with recycling and electronic waste
  • The old game consoles would not be considered cool by kids today


IEC e-tech

Multimedia & appliances

January/February 2014

[full edition]

IEC e-tech January/February 2014


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