´╗┐Public urged not to wear pendant with enhanced radioactivity (with photo)

9 Sep 2009

The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) today (September 9) urged people not to wear a type of pendant with enhanced level of radioactivity.

Acting on information from the Department of Health that a pendant for sale was potentially harmful to health, officers of the C&ED seized 2,835 pieces of "SE Pendant 0352" from a chain store.

Samples of the seized pendants were sent to the Department of Health and the Government Laboratory for analysis and testing. Analysis results revealed that the radioactivity concentrations of radioactive thorium-232 and uranium-238 in the pendant were both above the limit recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)for commodity products.

According to the Department of Health, short term contact with the pendant would not result in immediate effect to health. As the radiation dose from a single pendant may reach 50% - 60% of the annual skin dose limit recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, year-long contact with the pendant may result in erythema of the skin in some individuals. The risk of skin cancer also increases with the duration of contact.

The supplier of the pendants has undertaken to voluntarily recall the pendants from the market. People possessing the pendants are advised to return them to the supplier for safe disposal.

A Hong Kong Customs spokesman said that in view of the test results of the pendant, Customs would follow up on the case and continue spot checks to ensure that the product was not available in the marketplace. Should there be sufficient evidence, the department would take appropriate enforcement action, he said.

Customs is committed to the protection of consumer interests and regularly conducts random spot checks and tests on samples of consumer goods on sale to ensure that they are reasonably safe for use by consumers.

Under the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance, it is an offence to supply, manufacture or import into Hong Kong consumer goods unless the goods comply with the general safety requirements for consumer goods.

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

To report unsafe consumer goods, please call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or write to the Consumer Protection Bureau, Customs and Excise Department on the 11th floor, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point.

Ends/Wednesday, September 9, 2009

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