The chances are that, as you read this blog, you’re perhaps sitting at your desk at work. Or perhaps you’re relaxing at home. Take a second to survey your surroundings – count up the sheer number of objects in the vicinity. These products may have travelled a long way to get where they are now, perhaps passing through vital border checks. You have confidence that they are safe, because we have a clear system in place for dealing with unsafe products.
Safety Gate is the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products. As recall specialists, we pay close attention to Safety Gate, as it is imperative we know what products are found to be unsafe and where they originate from.
Week 14 saw a number of serious alerts flagged by Safety Gate. In the machinery category, a foldable electric bicycle has been recalled and withdrawn from the market. This was because the frame and handlebar were deemed to be too weak, heightening chances of the bike breaking and the rider suffering injuries as a result.
In the motor vehicle category, a large Japanese passenger car manufacturer saw one of its most popular models undergo a recall. This was as a result of a problem with the radiator fan assembly motor controller, which could cause overheating and a loss of engine torque in motion.
A French automotive manufacturer had to recall models from several of its brands after it was found that its capacitors could crack under stress, potentially causing a malfunction of the engine cooling fan assembly.
The toys category always throws up interesting recalls, and this week was no different. A brand of toy slime was ordered to be destroyed and rejected at the border because the migration of boron was found to be too high. This caused danger to users as excessive ingestion or contact with boron could damage a child’s reproductive system.
Cosmetics is another category where recalls are common. This week, a skin lightening product was recalled as it contained clobetasol propionate – a corticosterioid which can cause skin irritation and lead to reproductive and endocrine problems. This snapshot of the recall landscape shows the range of products deemed to post a danger to the public – and underscore the need for proper oversight of product quality to ensure this danger is kept to an absolute minimum.
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