It seems like every day, more and more products are being recalled. All you have to do is do a quick Google search for “product recalls,” and thousands of news articles will pop up—a little bit scary right? Recalled products range from spinach to baby products to usb devices, all products that have been recalled due to dangers they may cause to ones health.
Turns out a lot of these products, especially electrical ones, have been manufactured in China or other countries in Asia. For example, Sears recently recalled 795,000 Kenmore dehumidifiers that were produced by the Chinese manufacturer LG Electronics (Tianjin) Appliance Co. between 2003 and 2009. According to the US Product Safety Commission, the products have been known to overheat, smoke, melt or catch on fire.
Another example of Chinese made products being recalled in the US? Dukal Corporation, a New York medical supply company has recently recalled 4,300 cases of antiseptic wipes and benzalkonium chloride swabs. The cause? They may contain bacteria called burkholderia cepacia, which can cause infection and illness in people with underlying health problems (clearly never a good thing, especially not in hospitals). The swabs were manufactured by Jianerkang Medical Dressing Co. in Jiangsu Province, China. Want to read more? Check out this article by the Washington Post about recalled motion security lights. The US Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also regularly updates its website with information about recalled products.
How can you lower your risk of having your products recalled? For devices like electronics and computer parts, performing inspections are extremely important because many tests, such as the Hipot test, are performed during these inspections. For products that may contain hazardous chemicals, like antiseptic wipes, make sure your products are tested in a professional laboratory!
While it may be alarming to some that so many products are being recalled every day, it is reassuring to know that faulty products are at least being taken off the market. In fact, the US has many regulations in place, as well as many regulatory agencies such as the FDA and the CPSC, that help make sure both imported products and products produced in the United States are safe for consumers. The European Union also has similar restrictions and recall procedures that we blogged about earlier on in the summer. RAPEX is a warning system used by the European Union to share information quickly between member states about recalled products. Want to see an example of a list of RAPEX recalled products (they produce one weekly)? Check one out here. Looks like girls in the United Kingdom will have to wait a little longer to wear nightshirts with Justin Bieber’s face on it—the Indian made pajamas pose a risk of burns.