#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

A handwash that causes infection and other stuff that could have harmed Irish people in 2014

It’s a hazardous world out there.

IT IS A matter of inevitability that not everything made in a factory is going to turn out perfectly.

While not all of these defect have an impact on a product’s safety, when they do, intervention is needed.

When products pose a risk, the European Commission’s Rapid Exchange of Information Commission (RAPEX) has to step into the breach, and ensure that whatever defective product is removed from the market before it causes anyone harm.

In 2014, over 500 products were swept out of harm’s way by the agency.

Here are a few of the products that were stopped from causing Irish consumers harm.

The Toyota Prius  

The Japanese car has seen a surge in popularity in recent years due to its hybrid system that runs on both conventional fuels and electricity.

RAPAX observed in February that in limited instances there was a danger of the cars shutting down – with the vehicle stopping and potentially causing an accident. 

It wasn’t the only one though – a large number of cars from various manufacturers were ruled to have defects during the last year.

13660773783_a36a3f4a3d_z Source: M 93

Hair curlers 

These hair curlers that come all the way from China were flagged as a danger last April. It was found that the connection between the cable and the handle of the curlers was liable to break, leaving live wires exposed.

Hair-raising stuff.

hair curlers Source: RAPEX

Plastic snake 

Beyond having the ability to scare ophiophobes, these toy snakes – rather brilliantly named ‘Serpente Plastica’ – are defined as a ‘chemical risk’, as they have substances that are potentially harmful to children if placed in the mouth. 

snakes Source: RAPEX


These magnets were withdrawn from the market in July for being too strong.

It was found that if a child swallowed one of the magnets, it could be drawn to the other magnet, through the gut wall.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

There’s a gruesome image for you.

magnets Source: RAPEX


This piece of equipment was taken off of the market in October. This dehumidifier could not only dry out a room, but also also serve as a source of heat – being prone to overheat and catch fire.

The product was recalled from anyone who had already purchased one.

dehumidifier Source: RAPEX

Hand-washing gel 

The front of this product promises “deep penetrating cleaning” – but in practice seems to go a little bit too deep. The product was found to contain “an excessive level of aerobic mesophilic bacteria” – which was prone to cause infection or skin irritation, especially on dry or cracked skin. 

bikehut Source: RAPEX

Read: Around 20,000 dangerous toys blocked from the Irish market last year

Also: Republic of Telly absolutely wipes the floor with the TV3 Toy Show

Read next: