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Issue Date:- 19 May 2008


AN exploding mobile phone charger reported by Southport Euro-MP Chris Davies has made its way onto an EU-wide list of dangerous products.

RAPEX is a rapid response system that allows EU countries to share information about products posing a health and safety risk. The system alerts countries to products that pose a risk so they can be quickly removed from sale and customers alerted to the dangers.

A record number dangerous toys and electrical products have been banned from sale in local shops thanks to the scheme.  Over 1600 dangerous products were reported last year and 100 of these were found in British shops. Toys were the most common offenders with electric shock and risk of injury or choking the main reason for reporting.  The majority of problems came from imported goods, with China the country of origin in around half the cases.

Southport Euro-MP Chris Davies has first hand experience of the system when he bought a mobile phone charger at the end of last year. The device exploded scattering pieces of plastic across his living room.  He said:- “There was a massive bang and smoke started coming out from the charger. I was concerned and reported the device to trading standards."

The charger, which had been manufactured in China, failed electrical tests and was added to the EU blacklist.

Mr Davies claims the RAPEX system is an example of the EU working at its best.  He said:- “If a toy in Spain is found to have the potential to seriously injure or even kill a child then the sooner we can ensure it is taken off British shelves the better.”

So far this year Britain has reported a variety of dangerous goods to the register. These range from a wooden train set with a risk of lead poisoning to hair straighteners that posed danger of an electric shock.

The system also protects British holidaymakers abroad. For example, a toy cow in Spain was withdrawn from sale as it was found to pose a choking hazard, while joke cigarettes in Cyprus may lead to respiratory tract inflammation.

Southport man urges residents to Help a Heart and save lives this June

IN the UK, nearly 600 people lose their lives to heart and circulatory disease every day.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is committed to preventing lives being devastated by the disease but urgently needs ongoing support to invest in groundbreaking heart research.

Throughout June 2008, the Charity is running its Help a Heart campaign and needs your help to raise its target of £1.5 million to fund essential heart research that could save friends and family from the pain of losing a loved one.

Steve White (59), of Southport, is a heart patient who has benefited from the vital research funded by the BHF.

He had suffered ongoing pains and breathlessness but had put it down to his busy and stressful lifestyle. Then in March 2003, at the age of 55, Steve had a heart attack and discovered he had angina. An angiogram showed he needed a quadruple bypass which he had that December.

He said:- “To discover I had to have the quadruple bypass was a strange sense of relief. I felt like a walking time bomb and the diagnosis was a step forward after a very eventful year.  When I sat up in intensive care and saw my family, I realised that it was not just me who had suffered from the heart problems, it was the whole family.”

Show your support for the nation’s heart charity by getting involved with events in Southport or buying a Heart Button from your local BHF Shop. You can also get involved with the campaign this year by visiting the BHF’s Help a Heart, website, and explore all the other ways you can make a difference.

Steve, who raised almost £3,000 by organising a charity night, added:- “I feel great now, I have a new life and I am healthy and happy. I would encourage as many people as possible to support the BHF as heart disease is the UK’s biggest killer and so many people don’t even know they have a problem.”

For more information on all the ways to support the campaign this year and events in Southport contact Ken Fretwell, BHF Fundraising Volunteer Manager on 0151 678 2646 or by emaiing them via:-

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