The 2020 European Commission Safety Gate report was recently published. Safety Gate is the EU rapid alert system, formerly known as RAPEX, for dangerous consumer products which helps to take dangerous non-food products off the market.
- 2253 alerts in 2020, this has remained fairly consistent for the past 8yrs.
- 9% of alerts were COVID product related (see below)
- Toys are the most notified product category at 27% of notifications followed by motor vehicles at 21% and electrical appliances and equipment at 10%
- The three most common risks associated with products triggering alerts were potential injuries at 25%, followed by chemical components in products at 18% and choking at 12%.
- China and Hong Kong were the country of origin of 50% of the alerts, EU countries were responsible for 25% of alerts.
It is probably not surprising that products related to COVID-19 were responsible for 9% of all alerts, as many businesses started or ramped up production of PPE and sanitising products at very short notice. This included:
- 161 alerts on masks, mostly due to them not offering the claimed level of protection
- 13 alerts on hand disinfectants, many of which contained methanol which could be very harmful to the user
- 18 alerts on UV lamps supposed to function as sterilisers which could cause severe skin irritation