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Dangerous product alerts in the EU grow to 2,201 in 2017

Most of the notices sent by items likely to cause damage to the consumer are toys and more than half come from China

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Dangerous product alerts in the EU grow to 2,201 in 2017

A magnetic chessboard that uses a plastic wrapper that is too thin and elongated is last alert notified to European system. The origin of product: China. The complaining country: Spain. The reason: risk of suffocation. Like that, last year, 2,201 alerts were registered in European Union for items on sale that could cause damage to consumer, an average of six daily, and 7% more than in 2016. The vast majority of items detected represent "a serious health risk".

More information
  • Retired in Barcelona more than 20,000 spinner toys that were dangerous for children
  • A new mass withdrawal of toys forces EU to review its controls

The case of chess, already withdrawn from market by order of Spanish authorities, it is representative of a trend that in recent years has been repeated: The toys are products that more warnings generated — 29% — and China origin of more than half of articles Dangerous — 53%, same percentage as in previous year —. Motor vehicles (20%) and clothing (12%) are, after toys, most alert ones caused. The most common risks range from injuries to fire, asphyxiation or chemical toxicity.

The Asian giant is largest exporter of goods and services to EU, last year purchases to China from community block totalled 344 billion euros. 12 years ago European Commissioner for Consumer Protection warned that Chinese origin of half alerts was too high, but problem has cronificado. Although since 2006 Brussels has opened a channel with Beijing created specifically to contain this type of risk, in huge avalanche of goods that travel to mainland from China, numerous products that fail to meet standards of European security. The phenomenon has been exacerbated by online purchases, point at which European Commissioner for consumerism put more emphasis, will see Jourova, during last meeting on subject held in Beijing with its counterparts from USA and China.

Among most restless cases unleashed last year is spinner, one of fashionable toys among European children. The arrival of games from China with easy-to-dismantle small parts potentially dangerous due to risk of suffocation, as well as presence of tiny battery buttons, highly toxic in case of ingestion, led to its withdrawal in several EU countries, more 20,000 of m in Spain, after some accidents occurred.

The rapid alert system seeks to coordinate efforts. When authorities of a state find a dangerous product in ir market, y immediately warn Brussels, which notifies rest of case, and se, in turn, proceed to prohibit or restrict its sale. In this way, chances of accidents occurring in 31 states that comprise it — twenty-eight in EU plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein — are reduced. Spain has been one of most active countries when it comes to reporting: it is second that has launched more alerts (222) only behind Germany (354) and ahead of France (191). That is not to say that more risky items arrive, as y can respond to factors such as greater Inspector action or higher import volume.

Most of se cases come out with imposition of restrictive measures by national authorities, and only a minority is resolved with voluntary measures — for example, a toy store that removes a certain product before it is forced to do so — .


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