Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity


 The Rapex alert service details measures taken to prevent or restrict the marketing or use of products posing a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers. Recent alerts have included three product withdrawals for the popular Fancy Dress sector and demonstrated how careful suppliers have to be to ensure they comply with ALL relevant legislation.

Judging by the high number of pirates, fairies and aliens being ferried to our local primary schools on World Book Day last week the fancy dress costume business certainly enjoyed a major boost from the event. A worldwide celebration of books and reading, now observed in over 100 countries all over the world, the 17th World Book Day event was well supported throughout the UK giving children, students and teachers alike an excuse to dress up as their favorite character. lab_web_banner However, costumes withdrawn from the market in Sweden provide a warning for the industry throughout the EU. In the previous week an “Alien Agent” outfit was withdrawn due to having azo dyes releasing 4-aminoazobenzene above the permitted levels, which made it non compliant with the REACH regulation. Last week two outfits were also withdrawn as they posed a risk for the environment because the plastic in the packaging contained cadmium above the permitted levels (measured value: up to 251 mg/kg).  Although the actual fancy dress costume was compliant with EN71, the product as a whole did not comply with the REACH Regulation and with the requirements of the Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste and was therefore voluntarily withdrawn from the market. For full details visit The Laboratory at The Birmingham Assay Office offers UKAS accredited testing for azo-dyes, packaging and other tests associated with Toy Safety and the REACH Regulation. For more information contact Tim Smith or Steve Franklin on 0871 871 6020 or email

phone tim or steve


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