´╗┐Parents warned of unsafe toy face paints (with photos)

23 Oct 2009

The Customs and Excise Department (CED) today (October 23) urged members of the public, especially parents, not to let children play with a type of face paints toy set which was found to be unsafe.

The CED early this month conducted spot checks on retailers supplying Halloween toys to protect consumer interests. A total of 25 samples of Halloween toys were sent to the Government Laboratory for safety tests. Results showed that a toy face paints set failed to meet the safety requirements of the prescribed safety standards for toys.

According to a safety test on the samples of the toy face paints by the Government Laboratory, the soluble migrated element of barium in the red colour of the face paints was found to contain excessive barium content of 3,900 mg/kg. Such a level far exceeds the prescribed safety limit of 250 mg/kg.

The spokesman said, "The toys are assessed to have high risk of causing poisoning hazard to children. A total of 1,502 sets of the toys have so far been seized from a supplier cum importer and a chain retailer. The department has also served Prohibition Notices under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance on them prohibiting the supply of the toys concerned."

"Customs follow-up actions are continuing. Prosecution will be taken against the companies concerned for offences under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance should there be sufficient evidence,"he said.

Under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance, it is an offence to supply, manufacture or import unsafe toys into Hong Kong.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year on first conviction, and $500,000 and two years' imprisonment on subsequent conviction.

Customs conducts spot checks on the safety of toys and children's products to ensure their compliance with the safety requirements of the prescribed standards set under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance to protect consumers' interests.

To report unsafe toys and children's products, please call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or write to the Consumer Protection Bureau, Customs and Excise Department, at 11/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point.

Ends/Friday, October 23, 2009

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