This week the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) announced that twenty cosmetics products were recalled from the market in late 2012 due to their chemical content.
Amongst teeth whitening and hair dye products seized by importers, faulty machinery and toys were also found to have breached legal requirements in terms of guidance labeling.
“We ordered importers to collect a total of 100 consumer products from shelves. Most withdrawals and recalls of the hair dyes and teeth whitening (total of 20), a variety of machines, such as Saw, outboard engines, lawn mowers and mini mopeds (16 pieces) and toys (9).”
The products were then taken and tested at the Customs Laboratory, whereby officials inspected product labelling and analysed them for certain forbidden substances, preservatives and hydrogen peroxide concentration.
Tukes is responsible for ensuring that consumer products are labeled and packaged correctly and its’ view in this instance is that warning signs on labels are of the utmost importance in that they indicate to the consumer, how dangerous the chemical can be to their health or the environment.
“Product labelling and appropriate user instructions are important elements, particularly in the safety of hair dye products,” says legal adviser Pauliina Kanerva of Tukes. “Instructions and labelling must be provided in Finnish and in Swedish."
Despite these recent products being removed from the country's shelves, the Agency says none of the deficiencies were severe enough to warrant a full product recall, but that the number of products seized has considerably gone up from the year before, which only amounted to 58 items.
“We hope, going forward that the number of dangerous consumer products will be reduced in 2013,” says senior representitive Anna Pukander.
In terms of hair dyes, Finnish cosmetics legislation is based on that of the European Union, which restricts the use of certain substances in products taken from scientific risk assessments carried out by the SCCS.
Thus, Tukes has a wide range of control to monitor and survey consumer products in Finland where the risks are greatest and are expected to be unsafe.