Warning over millions of unsafe goods entering our ports
Latest figures from National Trading Standards reveal nearly two million unsafe or noncompliant products were identified between April and December 2014.
Children’s toys, cosmetics and DIY products are biggest offenders Children’s scooters, beauty products and LED lights are among 1.9 million items that were intercepted at entry points in England and Wales between April and December 2014, estimates from National Trading Standards reveal.
The new figures, which equate to more than 6,500 detained items every day, are thought to be the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as consumers are urged to take extra care when shopping online.
During the nine-month period analysed by National Trading Standards*, nearly two in five interventions by its Safety at Ports and Borders teams identified products as ‘unsafe or noncompliant’, meaning they posed a risk to the health or safety of consumers. Taking these products out of the supply chain is estimated to save the UK economy over £57 million** in potential costs of injuries, fatalities or fires.
Items detained by the NTS Safety at Ports and Borders teams, who work across 14 local authorities at ports, airports and postal hubs, included 397 home tooth whitening kits containing unsafe levels of hydrogen peroxide, thousands of cosmetic products like shampoo, skin lightening cream and body lotion, LED lights, children’s scooters and other toys.
With consumers increasingly shopping online and searching for a bargain, National Trading Standards is urging everyone to think before they buy and has produced a checklist to help people shop more safely. Top tips include checking out the reviews of the product you want to purchase – or the seller you wish to buy from – and checking that there is a way to contact the seller offline.
To support the work of the NTS Safety at Ports & Borders teams, more funding is being channelled to the teams following a grant from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
Products detained by NTS Safety at Ports and Borders teams include: Between July – November 2014, 64% of LED lightbulbs tested across various UK border points were found to be unsafe or noncompliant
In Coventry, parcels containing 397 home tooth whitening kits that contained 61 times the permitted amount of hydrogen peroxide were detained
Nearly 1,000 chainsaws imported from China were seized and shown to have a number of crucial faults, including brakes that did not work when the engine was running and a ‘kill switch’ which did not stop the engine immediately
20 unsafe children’s scooters were detained by teams in Suffolk, as well as aquarium lights, electrical chargers, black henna and skateboards
Since April 2013, 9,809 carcinogenic skin lightening creams have been intercepted at Tilbury and Gateway ports
Between April – December 2014, 670,891 cosmetic products including shampoo, skin whitening cream, soap, skin lightening oil, henna products, body lotion and face cream were identified at UK border points as unsafe or noncompliant.
Source: ITV REPORT, 6 March 2015 at 11:44am
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This is a term that’s now used widely and regularly, but how much do you actually know about LED lighting? LED stands for light-emitting diode which is then part of a bulb or lamp with a greater lifespan than that of the old incandescent lamps. LEDs providing white light also outlast most fluorescent lamps, whose longevity is also affected considerably simply by your switching them on or off, by a much higher multiple.
Using LED products
These are compact and especially good at providing a narrower beam of directed light, rather than simply throwing it out in all directions, they also usually include elements within them to assist with heat dissipation. In your home, you might find them terrific for reading or to help you focus specifically on detailed hobby activities such as needlecraft, jigsaws, model-making, and the like. For those times you are happy with a wider spread of light, LEDs with diffusers are usually a good answer. An alternative is a series of directed spotlights, often adding character to different areas of your room. This is one reason why you are increasingly likely to discover such products being used as light sources in museums, art galleries, and other public venues.
In the situation where fixtures are designed for fluorescent tube lighting, you might not be a fan of that specific style. The good news is that LED tube lights, often using several LEDs within the one tube, have been produced which can be used as replacements in many products, although it is wise to check with an expert before making changes to any of your current appliances.
A brief history to finish
The history of LED development is, unlike the product, slightly hazy in places. It has been reported that an assistant to Marconi published an article over a century ago covering some experimental findings. A couple of decades later, Russian scientist Oleg Losev, carried out more substantial research. No practical work appears to have been done following this, but, after the Second World War, the pace quickened. The first commercial LEDs were produced in the early 1960s. Nowadays, you’ll find them in everything from traffic signals to games consoles.
The next time you are looking for a cool and directional lighting source, not only will you appreciate why choosing LED products makes good sense, but do feel free to throw a casual fact or two into the conversation. SHOP LED Light NOW