Chemicals present second highest product risk in Europe

Hazardous chemicals in products, such as toys and textiles, have become the second biggest risk to health and safety in the European market. Risks related to chemicals comprised 23% of all notifications in 2016, according to a European Commission report on the EU’s Rapid Alert System for dangerous products (Rapex). Injury from use of a product topped the risk categories at 25%. The change in ranking was linked to a higher proportion of notifications concerning risk of injury from motor vehicles, the report said. Rapex covers dangerous non-food products and ensures that information about products withdrawn from the market or recalled from consumers is quickly circulated between member states and the European Commission. In 2016, the main product categories detected through the system were similar to the previous years: toys with 26%; motor vehicles with 18%; and clothing, textiles and fashion items with 13%. Chemicals, such as phthalates, present in toys constituted the second biggest danger from toys after choking, it added. The largest number of total Rapex notifications came from Germany (16%), followed by Spain (11%) and France (10%). China remained the number one country of origin for dangerous product notifications, representing 53% of notified products. These were mainly toys and clothing items. But the proportion of Chinese origin products was down from 62% in 2015, while European origin products accounted for 23%, up from 15% in 2015. The total number of notifications was broadly stable at 2,044, but follow-up activity increased significantly to 3,824, the report says, “meaning that consumer authorities in different countries increasingly follow up on alerts circulated”. A copy of the report is available at: Commission report

Chemical Watch, 24 March 2017 ; ;