HC Deb 14 June 1979 vol 968 cc297-8W
Mr. Greville Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) whether he will institute an inquiry into the safety of lamps or other articles containing either tetrachloride, or tri- or tetraclorethylene; and, if breakage of such articles would allow gas and fumes to escape with a possibility of death or injury, whether he will exercise his powers under the Consumer Safety Act 1978 to ban the import and sale of such items;

(2) whether he has consulted other EEC Governments concerning the banning of the sale of liquid filled lamps or ashtrays which, when broken, allow gas and fumes to escape with the possibility of death or injury.

Mrs. Sally Oppenheim

I do not consider that any investigation into the safety of these lamps is necessary. All mains operated domestic electrical equipment sold or possessed for sale in this country, including lamps, must comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1975 which include a provision relating to the emission of toxic gases. In May 1978, the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection drew the attention of British manufacturers and importers of these appliances to these regulations and also recommended that the lamps should (i) not contain carbon tetrachloride; and (ii) bear advice on safe usage and the precautions to be taken in the event of breakage.

An EEC directive, which is likely to be adopted very shortly, requires member States to prohibit the use of a wide range of liquids, including those referred to by the hon. and learned Member, in ornamental objects such as lamps and ashtrays. This directive, when adopted, will of course be implemented in the United Kingdom.