IISG – Italian Institute for Toy Safety – founded in 1978, is a leading company in the field of toys safety and certification for childhood products.

Since it’s birth the Institute has anticipated and promoted the evolution of the safety Standards and the quality in toys productive area and not only. The Institute mission is, indeed, to control and certify the safety and whatever belongs to the kid’s world, in particular toys.

The multi-year expertise developed in the area of products safety led the Institute to be officially recognized by the Italian old Ministero delle Attività Produttive, today Ministry of Economic Development, as a Notified Body to the European Commission (number 0376).

The Institute takes constantly part in behalf of UNI (Italian National Standards Body) to different Technical Commissions and to several Working groups of CEN (European Committee for Standardization).

The Institute is always updated about Standards development and improvement and it has frequently connections and interactions with the staff of other European Notified Bodies.

A team of technicians, engineers and chemists has been working for several years at the Institute, studying and analysing the different types of toys that are being launched in the market.
A team of psychologists contributes to enhance safety of the products by evaluating the ways of interaction of children with specific toys at different phases of their development (age grading of toys and ad hoc researches on specific toys and on the abilities that children need to be able to play with them)

On August 1st 2012, IISG has been acquired by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) a premier global independent safety science company with more than a century, and it’s now IISG “a UL company”. Lear more about UL: visit >>

IISG is notified to the European Commission for EC marking.
Here follows a short summary of several tests carried out on toys to assess safety:

The “Safe Toys” mark certifies the safety and the absence of hazardous materials used in toys.


The starting point for testing toys is a preliminary age grading evaluation which established for which age the article should be considered as suitable. The knowledges of the several stages of cognitive, emotional and motor development allow our psycologist to establish the age in which children are able to use the analysed toys in a safe and agreeable way.

European age grading guidelines have been published several years ago and, together with updated American documents, they allow an uniform classification for the different toy categories with specific characteristics for each age groups.

A specific “age grading evaluation” report is enclosed at the Certificate issued by the Institute. Therefore the manufacturer has the documentation stating the age grading has been carried out in a correct and professional way.


The new European Safety of Toys Directive 2009/48/EC provides, within the physical-mechanical safety requirements, that toys “shall comply with the essential safety requirements during their foreseeable and normal period of use”.

IISG can develop SPECIFIC TESTS for each toys in order to simulate the normal and foreseeable conditions of use and abuse in time and anticipate safety and quality performance.

For each toy we consider, for example:

  • actual foreseeable use;
  • average daily use duration;
  • toy “life”;
  • after washing resistance to the foreseeable conditions to use.


In order to evaluate the complete safety of a toy, the Institute proposes specific ecotoxicological tests that can be done if particular risks are foreseeable such as random or prolonged skin contact or when liquids, pastes or gels are present or during design of new products.

Tests proposed in the ecotoxicological area are:

  • dermal irritation and skin irritation in vitro that consent the evaluation of the irritation potential of a product using proteic membranes that reproduce the composition and the reactions of the skin also in the sensible area of the eyes;
  • microbiological evaluations in order to verify the presence of mould/fungi and pathogens micro-organisms.

The analysis indicated above can be supported by a formula evaluation in order to identify the toxicological risks that would preclude the safety of the substances used in toys based on all the possible exposure scenarios of children during normal and foreseeable condition of use.


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