Safety Gate collects alerts of health hazards made by national authorities to generate a European level report on the state of play in non-food related consumer products and products for professional use (excluding pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food or animal feedstuffs). It takes human health and safety risks (e.g choking, damage to hearing or sight) and hazards caused by chemicals into account, in accordance with General Product Safety Directive.
The 2022 report’s key findings indicate a rise in alerts for chemical hazards: 35% of all alerts were related to chemical risks. This means a 10% increase in reports of this nature compared to 2021, making chemical hazards the most reported hazard category, followed by injury risks (25%) and choking hazards (14%). This increase however, can be explained by alerts related to products that contain chemicals that were only marked as a risk recently, such as butylphenyl methylpropional (BMHCA) and hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde (HICC). A significant amount of chemical alerts originated from cosmetic products, however, they were also present in other products, such as toys.
The European Union’s goal with overarching product safety regulations and surveillance is to improve product safety, and enforcement. In addition to binding regulations, retailers may also participate in voluntary initiatives, such as the Product Safety Pledge.