NOT CHILD'S PLAY

Toys are more dangerous than cars and electrical appliances

Each year, the European Commission releases a report of the withdrawn or recalled products that triggered the most notifications on the European Rapid Alert system. The bad news is that this year, toys set off the most alerts because they are choking hazards. The good news is that the total number of alerts is slightly down, and alerts for products made in China, the biggest source of dangerous products, is significantly down.

These are the most dangerous non-food consumer goods in Europe for 2016:

These are the hazards posed by toys, the product category with the most safety alerts:

These are the most common risks posed by dangerous products in Europe. According to the commission, the “injuries” category is mainly linked to motor vehicles.

Where are all those dangerous goods from? China by a long shot, but of course, China makes most of the world’s stuff. Slightly more disturbing is the high number of alerts of “unknown” origin.

Here’s a historical snapshot of the types of danger posed by these products over time. From 2007 to 2013 clothes were the most dangerous products, mainly because of a crackdown on the drawstrings on childrens’ trousers by national authorities and because of an EU ban on an anti-mold chemical used in shoes called dimethyl fumarate, according to an earlier commission report (pdf).

EU dangerous goods over time, Rapex system
(European Rapid Alert System annual report 2016)
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