Product safety intelligence

Ever more demanding European Directives

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In January 2007 The Commission tabled detailed proposals to strengthen EU-rules on the safety of toys replacing and modernize the 20 years old Toys Directive. The revision has a threefold objective: first and foremost there will be new and higher safety requirements to cope with recently identified hazards, secondly it will strengthen manufacturers’ and importers' responsibility for the marketing of toys and finally it enhances the market surveillance obligations of Member States.

The Commission proposal is now being discussed with the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers with a view to an adoption in the co-decision procedure.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 November 2008 12:31 ) Read more...

Small importers need key staff to develop deeper product safety knowledge

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Small European importers and traders and small Chinese manufacturers were accused of being the weakest link in the product safety chain in a report by independent experts released by the European Commission in June 2008.

The five-month analysis entitled "Evaluating Business Safety Measures in the Toy Supply Chain" was carried out at the initiative of the European Commission, after a series of high profile recalls in 2007.The main gaps in small businesses capabilities included:a lack of in-depth knowledge of the applicable legislation and standards, a lower number of dedicated personnel, and weaker systems of quality management and supplier control.

All along the supply chain technical files were found to be of poor quality or absent altogether despite being a compliance requirement. Other common problesm were with age grading of toys and poor recall management procedures.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 November 2008 12:23 ) Read more...

Ad-hoc government bans

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UK consumer minister Melanie Johnson, banned all shops from selling Yo-balls (which consist of a liquid-filled plastic ball on the end of a stretch of elasticated plastic) in April 2003, nine months after they began appearing on the shelves of shops. She said: "It is clear this toy poses a very serious risk to children and, in light of the findings of our safety tests, I am banning their supply. I do not want to spoil the fun that sensible use of the toy can bring, but on balance, I cannot ignore children’s safety. The government action – sparked by incidents of near strangulation – was the first ban on selling a new toy to be imposed since 1991, when the sale of jelly balls, bouncing balls that broke into pieces, was stopped.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 November 2008 12:27 ) Read more...

Toys from unregulated markets can be lethal

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Girl Killed by plastic bullets fired from toy gun

Twelve-year-old boy from the settlement of Novye Vysli in the republic of Chuvashia shot his classmate girl with a toy gun. The incident happened, when the children were watching an action movie on television. Portraying the characters of the movie, the boy fired his toy gun in the girl. The gun was loaded with small plastic balls. One of those ?bullets¦ hit the girl in her temple and she fainted. The girl died in the reanimation department of the district hospital without coming to her senses, NTVRU.Com said.

Pravda.RU:Society  19:27 2002-09-27

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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