ACCC puts safety first - banned lead wick candles recalled

28 August 2003

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted court-enforceable undertakings from Bonnet Imports Pty Ltd to stop supplying frog ornaments containing candles with lead wicks.

Lead-wicked candles which contain a level of lead greater than 0.06% by weight are subject to permanent ban.  Bonnet has contacted stores it supplied to recall the product.

The banned candles were found in a Darwin gift store in a recent product safety survey conducted by the ACCC, but were supplied Australia-wide. The banned candles are easily identified by checking the wick to see if it has a silvery or dark lead centre.

"If consumers find such candles they should be immediately returned to the store from which it was bought for a refund", ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today "It should certainly not be lit.

"The ACCC is very concerned that candles with lead wicks were still available for purchase despite two temporary bans being in place since 1999 and a permanent ban coming into effect on September 2002".

The ban aims to protect consumers from the effects of exposure to lead.  Public health experts have confirmed that lead emission from any source can pose an unacceptable public health risk and can result in increased blood lead levels in unborn babies and young children.

S65C(c) of the Trade Practices Act 1974  prohibits a corporation from supplying goods in respect of which there is in force a notice imposing a permanent ban on goods.

Bonnet acted swiftly after being contacted by the ACCC to ensure that the banned goods were immediately removed from sale and has undertaken to:

  • refrain from supplying or offering to supply frog ornaments with candles with lead wicks subject to the permanent ban;
  • provide retailers with a letter prepared by the ACCC and a warning sign, to be placed in the stores where the candles were sold at and provide a refund if consumers return the candles; and
  • ensure that a senior officer attends a trade practices awareness program and educate its staff members in relation to the permanent ban.

The enforcement of product safety standards and bans is a priority for the ACCC in the interest of consumer safety.

Bonnet Imports Pty Ltd is an importer of men's gifts, porcelain figurines and glassware and is based in Caringbah, NSW.   It does not normally import candles.

Below: The banned candle in the ornament.

Release number: 
MR 179/03
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