Consumers are being warned to check they haven’t bought any dangerous toys or other products in the run-up to the busy festive period.
Children’s toys account for more than a quarter of the 1,000 items recalled in the EU in the past six months according to the Consumer Focus Labs’ Recalled Products website.
This includes a batch of Be My Baby dolls, which were last month voluntarily recalled in the UK by the company which sells them because they contain a dangerous level of toxic chemicals and therefore pose a risk to young children.
Clothing and fashion products were the next highest category, making up just over 23 per cent of recalled items, while faulty or dangerous electrical appliances accounted for nine per cent.
Joe Cicero of Consumer Focus Labs said: “When you consider that faulty or dangerous toys make up the greatest proportion of recalls, it is important for consumers with families to be kept well-informed during the hectic Christmas period.
“We have seen several children’s toy products voluntarily recalled by the manufacturers in the past month, with little or no publicity. Yet the chances are that people could have bought these toys for their children’s Christmas stocking, and will then understandably forget all about them until their child unwraps it on Christmas Day.
“But it is not just toys; consumers need to be on alert for popular gift items like electrical appliances, clothing and beauty products. Defective goods can pose a real danger to consumers who are often unaware that they should be returned. It is important that the public are provided with access to information which can protect themselves and their families.
“Consumers usually become aware of recalls through chance – glimpses of notices in newspapers and shops and occasional checking of existing online listings services. We are currently investigating ways that information on recalled products can be made available to people who do not have access to the internet.”
Consumers from more than 70 countries around the world have so far used Recalled Products site, which collects product recall data from the UK and the European Commission and publishes them via weekly or monthly email alerts and news feeds from the internet.
The site, which is free to use, also provides consumers with advice of what to do if they purchased any of the items that have been recalled.
To sign up to the site please visit http://recalledproducts.org
For further information please call Media Officer Jamie Pike on 02920 787110
Notes to editors
Statistics and graphs of the number of recalled goods can be found on the Recalled Products website by clicking here
If you live in the UK and need further advice on your rights as a consumer, please contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06, Welsh Language 0845 040505 or www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.
Consumer Focus Labs builds online tools to make people’s dealings with companies fairer, save them money, or keep them informed about products or issues that are important to them. They are a project of Consumer Focus the statutory organisation campaigning for a fair deal for consumers in England, Wales, Scotland, and, for postal services, in Northern Ireland.