June 10, 2010

Consumer Products Safety: What's Unsafe

The Commission of the European Union (EU) has recently released statistics on notices of unsafe consumer products that have been processed through their rapid information system (RAPEX). In April 2010 the Commission validated 145 notifications. Guess what tops the list of unsafe products? Cars? Nope, it’s toys for children. Of the 152 total notifications received, toys continue to top the list of unsafe products with 29% of the total notifications; clothing, textiles and fashion items - 19%, autos - 17%, electrical appliances -12%, cosmetics - 7%.

The notifications validated in April covered 11 different types of risk such as injuries (24%), chemical (18%), choking and strangulation (14% each), electric shock (10%).

Regarding the country of origin of the products identified as presenting a serious risk, more than half (53%) originated from China including Hong Kong. Another 19% of unsafe products originated in EU. For a comparison, only 2% came from US. Another good reason to buy American!