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TSI Issues Warning Over Unsafe Fancy Dress Costumes

32 Alert Notifications For Unsafe Products Have Been Issued In 2014


Parent have been warned to be cautious when buying fancy dress costumes for their children or for themselves after the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) recorded a six-fold increase in recalls this year.

The organisation said 32 notifications have been issued this year through the EU’s rapid alert system for unsafe products – Rapex – relating to concerns about flammability and chemical hazards of children's fancy dress costumes. The number represents a 357 per cent increase relating to these types of products.

The rise in notifications had led to further concerns over the quality and safety of fancy dress costumes entering into the European market.

TSI's joint product safety lead officer Robert Chantry-Price said: "We are concerned at the increase of Rapex notifications for these products and the potential safety implications each dangerous product can have, yet it is encouraging to see these products are being checked and prevented from entering the market and injuring consumers."

He warned parents to ensure any clothing they purchase carried the CE marking EN71-2, but noted that these markings can be faked by manufacturers. He explained: "One way to spot fraudulent CE markings is to check the logo. Sometimes the wrong logo is used entirely, but if it looks correct, check the middle line of the 'E', as it should be shorter than the other parts."

The TSI also urged parents to check labelling and packaging for the name of the manufacturer, address, postcode or phone number and a registered trademark, as well as checking the TSI website to see if a product recall has been issued.

Expert Opinion
The use of fake CE markings is a serious problem and it is important consumers take every precaution to ensure the fancy dress clothing they buy is safe for use.

“People are entitled to assume that fancy dress costumes, whether purchased for their children or themselves, meet the relevant standards, particularly if they feature a CE mark. It is vital notifications for the recall of unsafe products continue to be issued and acted upon by retailers to protect consumers from the serious damage these products can do to wearers.”
Tim Annett, Partner

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