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Dangerous products

“What is the EU doing to protect me from dangerous products?”

If a dangerous product is found in one country, information on the product is passed on to the other EU countries via a rapid alert system called “RAPEX” (Rapid Alert System for Non-Food Products). The system facilitates cooperation between national and European authorities to track down dangerous products and remove them quickly from the market. A similar system called “RASFF” (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) is in place for food.

Certain categories of products or substances presenting a safety or health risk may be banned from the EU market. The use of plastic softeners called phthalates, which can be toxic when ingested by young children, has been banned in the manufacture of toys since the late 1990s.

In 2006, the European Commission also prohibited the marketing of disposable lighters not equipped with a child-resistant mechanism.

This decision has been amended on 12 April 2007.

On 29 November 2007 EU Member states endorsed European Commission plans to draw up proposals for a standard to combat the leading cause of home fire fatalities each year. The new standard will require tobacco companies to sell only cigarettes which have a safety requirement in their design so they go out more quickly if left unattended. The European Commission will take a formal decision on the mandate for a standard in Spring 2008.

Please refer to this page for details: : Legislation on lighters

Food-imitating products and magnets

There is also the Directive on dangerous imitations prohibits the marketing, import and manufacture of products that look like foodstuffs but that are not in fact edible and on magnets.

In the absence of specific safety requirements for magnets in toys and awaiting the revision of the relevant standard, in 2008 the Commission will use provisions of Article 13 of the General Product Safety Directive to draft a targeted measure, requiring appropriate warnings about the dangers of magnets in toys.

Further information: The Directive on dangerous imitations prohibits the marketing, import and manufacture of products that look like foodstuffs but that are not in fact edible.


 
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