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Three years on from the European Decision, millions of lighters are STILL potentially dangerous


11 Mar 2011


Health & Consumers
EU Priorities 2020

Millions of lighters sold in the EU are still potentially dangerous, three years after the introduction of a European Decision1  to stop lighters that fail to comply with minimum standards being offered by retailers. According to the European Commission, up to 40 deaths and 1,900 injuries each year in the EU are caused by lighters. Furthermore, the victims are often children.

In November 2010, ANEC issued a press release warning of the dangers of imported lighter models on the European market. We noted that PROSAFE, the Product Safety Enforcement Forum of Europe, found that 76 per cent of lighter models it tested were not in conformity with safety standards.

On the day of the third anniversary of the enactment of the European Commission Decision to make it mandatory for all lighters sold in Europe to comply with EN ISO 9994, the International Standard for Lighters, we have yet to see evidence that the European market as a whole is any cleaner.

“These lighters are a proven risk, and despite efforts made by authorities to oversee the application of the ban, there has been little if any change in the market. Potentially dangerous lighters are still finding their way into the hands of consumers, despite the public expectation for safe products. ANEC calls again for the creation of a European-wide framework to ensure the better coordination of market surveillance activities among all Member States. In the meantime, we ask retailers and distributors to exercise vigilance and test the products they sell,” commented Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary-General.



1Requirements for lighter safety set out in Decision 2006/502/EC of the European Commission have been obligatory for lighters placed on the European market since 11 March 2008.



ANEC in brief


Raising standards for consumers


ANEC is the European consumer voice in standardisation, defending consumer interests in the processes of technical standardisation and conformity assessment as well as related legislation and public policies. ANEC was established in 1995 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law and represents consumer organisations from 31 European countries. ANEC is funded by the European Union and EFTA, with national consumer organisations contributing in kind. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels.

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