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Several stallholders and their suppliers will be issued with infringement notices of up to $6,600 by Consumer Protection after product safety inspectors found numerous unsafe toys and novelty items on sale at the Perth Royal Show.
Most of the items failed to comply with strict new mandatory safety standards relating to button batteries which can pose a grave risk to young children.
The items that were discovered included fidget spinners, flower crowns, flashing veils and tiaras which did not have strong enough compartments to properly secure the button batteries. Most of these items, as well as several watches and flashing necklaces, did not have the required warning labels.
All items were not submitted as part of the pre-Show inspections, except for one item which was on sale despite the seller being issued with a pre-Show notification that it did not comply. There were other suppliers who failed to comply with previous directions regarding warning labels and ingredient lists for cosmetics.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said parents and guardians who bought items containing button batteries for their children at the Royal Show need to be alert.
“It’s alarming that these toys and novelty items were on sale, especially considering that we conducted pre-Show inspections and made sure stallholders and suppliers were clearly informed of the safety requirements for button batteries in particular,” Mr Newcombe said.
“We don’t know exactly how many of the unsafe products were sold before being discovered but we can assume it was a significant quantity. So, to safeguard young children who might be playing with these items at home, we need parents and guardians to ensure the button batteries are secured correctly and won’t come loose even when dropped.
“Non-compliant items can be reported to us at Consumer Protection and then disposed of immediately. Before putting the batteries in the bin, we recommend wrapping them in sticky tape so they don’t pose a hazard to others.
“The blatant disregard of safety regulations by some Royal Show stallholders is indeed disappointing and we will be keeping a close watch at future regional shows and in the run-up to the 2023 Perth Royal Show.
“We will also be holding discussions with the Royal Agricultural Society of WA about their obligations in relation to compliance with product safety requirements.”
More information on button battery safety is available on the Product Safety website. Toys or other products with unsecured button battery covers can be reported to Consumer Protection at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 30 40 54.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / email@example.com