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Posts Tagged ‘unsafe’

Unsafe toys rampant in markets

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 7:50 am

Although Ho Chi Minh City Market Management Board September 15 started to inspect toy businesses, rampant objects for children’s fun without CR (Conformity of Regulation) safety stamps are sold in streets or markets,

Market inspectors are checking toys

Under the new technical regulation of the Ministry of Science and Technology taking effect on September 15, toys must be labeled with CR stamps to help minimize health and safety risks among kids during play.

The regulation includes methods for testing materials and other substances contained in toys as well as the management of import and production activities for toys.

In sidewalks, display of varieties of toys in streets such as Nguyen Van Cu- An Duong Vuong, Luong Nhu Hoc, Nguyen Trai, Hong Bang in district 5 and Nguyen Tri Phuong in district 10 has attracted kids. Vendors all said they didn’t care about the regulation because they can immediately hide toys when police arrive.

Legal toy shops, supermarkets, book stores and old-age markets like Kim Bien and Binh Tay sell cars, dolls and plastic objects, smuggled mainly from China without safety certificates. A wholesaler in Binh Tay market, considered as biggest distributor of toys in the city, said it is hard to sell products with CR stamp because they are usually expensive than imported varieties  without being labeled; moreover, a few designs of legal toys have been produced.

In addition, many parents also prefer buying Chinese toys because they are cheaper and more modern, with more moveable parts compared to locally made products.

Retailers in the city said no importers or enterprises have withdraw  products without safety stamps. They therefore didn’t know what objects have been given accreditation. Furthermore, retailers complained that no relevant agencies have given them detailed instructions, they just heard the regulation through public media.

Inspectors discovered many products without safety stamps in supermarkets, toy shops, and book stores in the city on September 15 as well as fake stamps. Head of the department of city’s market management Dang Van Duc said inspectors would fine businesses, confiscate or destroy illegal products.

Source: SGGP

More deaths from unsafe water than from war: UN

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 5:16 am

 More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday in a message to mark World Water Day.

The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF noted that more than 155 million people, or 39 percent of the population in West and Central Africa, do not have access to potable water, with only eight of 24 countries in the region on track to meet key poverty-reduction targets by 2015.

“These deaths are an affront to our common humanity, and undermine the efforts of many countries to achieve their development potential,” Ban said as the issue was discussed at a high-level UN General Assembly dialogue.

“Day after day, we pour millions of tons of untreated sewage and industrial and agricultural wastes into the world’s water systems,” he said, noting that clean water has become scarce and would be even scarcer as a result of climate change.

File photo shows a girl carrying plastic jugs to fill up with water at the Shegerab refugee camp in the Kassala State, eastern Sudan in Feburary 2010.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the stakes, saying that global peace and security will depend on access to water.

“Access to reliable supplies of clean water is a matter of human security. It’s also a matter of national security,” she said.

Government stability and economic growth will always depend on countries’ ability to successfully manage water in a world where water resources grow scarcer by the day, the chief US diplomat added, urging rich countries to realize the importance of their role in the matter.

Ban stressed that the world has the know-how to solve the challenge and urged nations to “become better stewards of our water resources.”

UNICEF said the water situation in West and Central Africa “remains a major concern,” with the region home to the lowest coverage of potable water worldwide.

It said the total number of people in the region without access to improved potable water increased from 126 million to 155 million people from 1990 to 2008.

Despite an improvement in coverage from 49 percent in 1990 to 61 percent in 2008 — countries needed to reach 75 percent by 2015.

Six countries have less than 50 percent drinking water coverage: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Niger, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.

Also of concern is the fact that 291 million people have absolutely no access to sanitation in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest under-five mortality rate of all developing regions at 169 child deaths per 1,000 live births.

The Nile River Basin, home to 180 million spread across 10 East African countries, is also largely mired in poverty and conflict, Clinton noted.

“Cooperative management of the basin’s water resources could increase economic growth — increase it enough to pull many of these countries out of poverty and provide a foundation for greater regional stability,” she said.

The theme of this year’s World Water Day, “Clean Water for a Healthy World,” highlights the fact that both the quality and the quantity of water resources are at risk.

Nine countries in Africa’s drought-affected Sahel region will meet in Chad on Thursday to find ways to manage scarce water supplies and protect people against food shortages, a Chad official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel — which groups Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal — will focus on setting up a global coalition on managing water.

Many of the member countries have suffered drops in food production due to erratic rains.

“Without water, there will be no prospects for achieving all MDGs (Millennium Development Goals),” UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang said.

At a 2000 UN summit, world leaders set a 2015 deadline for achieving Millennium Development Goals.

These include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, empowering women, reducing child mortality, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

6,000 unsafe milk products still for sale: VFA

In Vietnam Health on November 30, 2009 at 4:12 am

An advertisement for Dutch Lady Vivinal GOS milk

FrieslandCampina Vietnam has recalled around 96 percent of its Dutch Lady Vivinal GOS milk which reportedly caused allergic reactions in some children who consumed the product, said the Vietnam Food Administration (VFA). However, some 6,000 products remain in the market.

The VFA recently ordered the company to withdraw the remaining products and publicize warnings about the milk in the media.

Vivinal GOS is advertised as containing GOS (Galacto Oligosacharide), a natural fiber in dairy that helps enhance absorption of nutrients and stimulate healthy growth.

Some 21 toddlers in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi were hospitalized in recent weeks with rashes, breathing problems, and stomach upset, allegedly after drinking Dutch Lady Vivinal GOS milk.

Related articles:
Dutch Lady Vivinal GOS milk recalled over allergy scare
HCMC health officials investigate Dutch Lady’s dodgy milk

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Ban on unsafe helmets from Saturday

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 11:51 am

Customers at a helmet stall in HCM City.— VNA/VNS photo Hoang Hai

HA NOI — Beginning from this Saturday, motorbike helmets must comply with technical standards or they will be barred.

Under a new regulation, helmet producers and importers will not be allowed to deliver their products to market without a safety certifice.

Helmets that met standards would receive a three-year certification and a “CR” stamp, said the deputy head of the Directorate for Standards and Quality (Stameq), Vu Van Dien, at a conference in Ha Noi yesterday.

Previously, domestic helmet manufacturers tested their own products and announced their conformity to receive a stamp, while imported products were inspected for quality and given a stamp stating they had been checked.

The new CR stamp, however, is only issued to products that have been tested by one of the five certifying organisations.

So far, the following organ-isations have been authorised to inspect helmets and issue the certification: Quality Assurance and Testing Centres 1, 2 and 3; the Viet Nam Certification Centre; and the Bureau of Quality Certification.

Helmets already on the market that carry the CS or “checked” stamps would continue to be sold, Dien said, but new products would only be allowed to enter the market if they carry the CR stamp.

Dien said there were 82 helmet manufacturing enterprises nationwide, of which 51 had registered a self-assessment of conformity with regulations.

“There are 67 helmet importers in the country. The imported helmets will have to meet national standards,” said Dien.

For apearances

A survey conducted by the Viet Nam Consumer Protection Association showed that 60 per cent of people surveyed said they wore helmets for safety, while the rest said they only wore them to prevent being stopped by police.

Many respondents said they were more concerned with the helmet’s appearance than its safety.

“We have discovered that many kinds of helmet carry the CS stamp but don’t meet safety standards,” said association vice president, Ho Tat Thang.

Regulators are taking a particularly close look at these so-called “fashionable” helmets that look like caps, saying that marketers of this type of helmet would have to prove that their design and quality ensured the safety of consumers.

“If they do, we will grant them certification,” said Stameq general director Ngo Quy Viet

“This kind of helmet has already received the CS stamp, so I don’t know why it can’t receive the CR stamp,” said the director of the Duc Minh Co Ltd, which makes the helmets.

“There are tens of thousands of ‘fashionable’ helmets in the stores and on the market already, worth VND100,000 (US$6) each. Who will help us prove their safety so they can receive the CR stamp?”

To assure helmet quality and prevent illegal or counterfeit helmets from hitting the market, Viet said relevant sectors would closely co-ordinate to inspect domestic producers and importers for compliance.

He said there would also be an expansion of consumer-education campaigns that warn the public about poor quality helmets.

Thang said the new regulations were right, adding only the overlap period during which helmets bearing the CS stamp could continue to be sold would cause uncertainty for consumers. —