Nearly 1 in 10 EU alerts for dangerous products linked to coronavirus
Tuesday, 02 March 2021
Nearly one in ten (9%) rapid alerts issued in the EU for dangerous consumer products last year was linked to Covid-19, mainly for masks that were supposed to protect but did not, the European Commission said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Other dangerous products linked to Covid-19 notified in the EU’s Safety Gate included hand disinfectants that proved ineffective or contained toxic substances, such as methanol (risk of blindness or even death if swallowed), or UV disinfection systems that cause skin irritation.
In the Belgian case of the masks from the Luxembourg company Avrox, which the authorities distributed free of charge last year via pharmacies before advising this year that they should no longer be used, results of a new analysis will determine whether or not new measures need to be taken, commented European Commissioner in charge of consumer protection Didier Reynders.
The Safety Gate should help Member States to quickly withdraw products from the market or even destroy them before they reach the market.
Last year, the authorities of the 31 participating countries (EU Member States plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the UK) exchanged 2,253 such alerts, resulting in 5,377 actions, an increase of more than 20% compared to 2019.
Toys are most often targeted (27% of the total number of notifications), followed by motor vehicles (21%) and electrical appliances and equipment (10%).