Monthly Archives: May 2014

How Do Retailers Bounce Back After The ‘DFC’?

Beta_testingDue to overwhelming response to our last blog “Let’s Talk About Your Saftery – AZO Dyes”, as a supplier of textile products, I’d like to offer some advice to retailers on how to claw back buyer confidence in relation to AZO dyes and reduce the risk of being subject to a product recall which could be financially devastating. Don’t fall victim to the DFC – Dye Financial Crisis

Recently, due to the enormous and very public recall of over 270,000 textile products from major retail chains that contained unacceptable levels of Azo or benzidine-based dyes, retailers and consumers are asking the question:

“Does this product contain AZO dyes?”

Since AZO dyes are not banned in Australia, in fact acceptable levels of AZO dyes are 30mg/kg or 30 parts per million, it is difficult to ascertain just by looking at a product or its labels to determine if it harmful or not, but it is the ethical and moral responsibility of all sellers to ensure the safety of their customers and not provide goods that could potentially cause harm.

For this reason I urge retailers to contact their suppliers of textile products (particularly of products that come into contact with the skin ie bedding, clothing, soft furnishings etc), and ask if they are tested for AZO dyes and if their products are AZO FREE. You are entitled to ask this so you can then confidently pass this information on to customers.

Customers who are unsuccessful in obtaining such information from retailers should contact the supplier of the product directly.

The government body Product Safety Australia have information on their website for consumers as well as businesses including retailers, online retailers, wholesalers, importers, hire companies, property managers and more. I recommend visiting this website for more information and subscribing to email alerts for changes to the product safety system, bans, standards and product testing, law and conduct, legislation, penalties and consequences, media releases, news and to check recent recalls.

Visit Product Safety Australia:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/970225

For businesses:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/970798

For Consumers:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/970797

Report an unsafe product:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/ReportAnUnsafeProduct

Check recent recalls:
http://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/952401

make safe—buy safe—use safe

The excerpt below has been copied directly from the Product Safety Government Website

Retailers: Selling safe products

As a retailer, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure the products you sell are safe.

Ensure you buy compliant products

When ordering products, make sure you specify to suppliers the need for compliance with Australian safety standards and regulations.

Ensure necessary product tests have been done

Many products need testing to check that they are safe. As a retailer you must ensure that the manufacturer or your distributor has done any required tests before supplying the products.

Check the section on mandatory standards to see whether products you intend to sell require testing. If so, ask your supplier for proof of independent testing and certification as well as test reports. You may also need to get copies of relevant standards and other documents to check this.

Check stock before you put it out

You can visually check some safety aspects, such as safety devices and labelling. Check your stock before putting it out on the shop floor or for sale online to ensure all products are safe and comply with mandatory standards.

Be cautious when advertising and marketing

It is illegal to make claims about a product that exaggerate or misrepresent what it is designed to do, so consider all of a product’s key safety aspects before advertising or marketing it.

Advertisements, catalogues and displays

Make sure that any statements about a product and any photos or displays of it show the product exactly as it is when a customer buys it. If a product comes with mandatory safety features or labeling, it may be illegal not to show these.

Marketing and sales

Don’t overstate what a product is capable of, even though it might be tempting to do this when trying to sell it. This can have safety consequences as well as legal ones. Make sure your sales staff members know to avoid this.

Work with your customers

A key difference between retailers and other suppliers is the opportunity to work directly with consumers on product safety.

In the shop

Sales staff can talk to their customers and find out what their product needs are. This way they can help people buy safe products, as well as help them understand how to use the products safely. Many hazards relate to how consumers use products.

You can advise your customers about product safety by having good product knowledge and/or providing printed information at the point of sale.

Online

Retailers selling online have an even easier way to help customers understand the safety of their products. Links to this website and other product safety websites can help make everyone aware of product safety.

Respond to recalls

You can stay aware of product recalls by subscribing to the Product Safety Recalls Australia website.

Remove stock immediately

You must quickly remove any stock affected by a recall. Take the product off sale immediately and store it away securely, so that you or staff do not return it to the floor or website.

Alert your customers

As the interface with consumers, you can help alert customers to any product safety recalls by clearly displaying recall notices in your store and/or on your website.
 

Let’s Talk About Your Safety – ‘Azo’ Dyes

No doubt you’ve heard about AZO dyes in the media lately. Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 10.47.21 AM

“AZO Dye Recall Hit Major Aussie Retailers”
“Recall of Thousands Of Textiles After Testing Of AZO Dyes”
“AZO Dyes Linked To Carcinogen Causing Cancer”

What are AZO Dyes?

According to the ACCC Product Safety Information: “Azo dyes are a large class of very effective synthetic dyes used for colouring a variety of consumer goods such as foods, cosmetics, carpets, clothes, leather and textiles.

A small proportion of azo dyes contain, or can break down to form, a class of chemical substances referred to as aromatic amines.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have classified some of these aromatic amines as known, or suspected, human carcinogens. A carcinogen is a substance that is capable of causing cancer.”

What are the hazards?

Benzidine and other aromatic amines may be absorbed through the skin from dyed clothing and articles where there is direct and prolonged contact.  The amount of aromatic amines released from dyed articles can increase with body heat, sweat or saliva.

Some recent ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) testing on common textiles prompted the recall of over 207,000 products that were found to contain unacceptable concentrations of certain ‘AZO’ dyes.

The ACCC takes the view that the total maximum level of hazardous aromatic amines in articles in direct and prolonged contact with the skin should be 30 mg/kg (which is 30 parts per million). Some expert authorities recommend ZERO Exposure to certain ‘AZO’ dyes and have advised consumers should stop using textiles containing ‘AZO’ dyes immediately.

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 10.49.29 AMKeep your family safe.

Ask if products contain AZO dyes or check the register for recalled products.

* Beach Abode Living products are ‘AZO’ FREE !!

We continually engage independent inspection agencies to inspect and test our products to ensure they do not contain harmful substances including ‘AZO’ dyes. Our testing has recorded NIL harmful chemicals.

Read: 10 Incredible Benefits Of Our Products
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References:
http://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-testing-prompts-clothing-recalls
https://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1006626
http://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/952401