EU Recalls: Key Ring Breath Alcohol Tester, Chainsaw, Etc.

The Jan. 20 bulletin from the RAPEX rapid alert system contained more than the normal number of substandard electrical appliances, but these two products were the highlights.

The latest EU safety recalls of imported products included numerous electrical appliances that fall short of existing standards and even a plastic toy rattlesnake voluntarily pulled from the Cypriot market because it contains 34 percent by weight di-'isononyl' phthalate (DINP), a phthalate that REACH prohibits in toys or child care articles that children can place in their mouths.

A Chinese-made device for hand-whipping cream has been recalled in France because the dispenser head can explode, and this flaw has caused one serious injury, according to the Jan. 2o bulletin from the European Commission's RAPEX team.

It says a chainsaw imported from China was rejected at the entry point by German customs agents who recognized that it fails to conform to the European standard EN 11681. "Owing to the inadequate performance of the non-manually-activated chain brake, kickback may result in the user suffering serious injuries to the neck and/or upper body. In addition, if force is exerted on the rear handgrip its inadequate mechanical strength may result in it breaking off, together with the petrol tank, which may lead to burns," according to the notice.

Also on the Jan. 20 list were a German carbon monoxide alarm that does not properly detect that gas and a Drive Safely brand key ring breath alcohol tester, its country of origin unknown. The device was voluntary withdrawn from the French market and recalled from consumers "because of the inability of the product to detect a high alcohol level." This poses the understandable risk that the user might drive with an undetected high alcohol level and thus risk an accident, the notice states.

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