10 July 2017
CHOICE has renewed its call for tougher product safety laws in Australia following tests by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission which found Aldi's $79.99 Easy Home spiral spring mixer tap may contaminate water with lead.
"It's deeply concerning that tests by the Queensland building regulator on a fairly common tap found lead quantities up to 15 times above safe levels," says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.
It is being reported that thousands of Australian households have the potentially dangerous taps installed however a formal recall is yet to be issued.
"Australian consumers should be able to shop at well-known stores with the reasonable expectation that they will not be buying products that may risk their health," Mr Godfrey says.
"This latest product safety scare reinforces the need to modernise our product safety laws to better protect Australian consumers.
"No one buying a tap from a major supplier in Australia should have to worry that their family's drinking water could be contaminated with dangerous levels of lead," says Mr Godfrey.
In March of this year, a comprehensive review of Australia's consumer protection laws recommended that product safety laws be updated to include a general safety provision that would require suppliers to ensure the safety of a product before selling it.
"It beggars belief that businesses in Australia currently have no positive legal obligation to make sure the products they sell are safe," Mr Godfrey says.
"This latest issue follows a spate of product safety problems in Australia, from exploding phone chargers to flaming washing machines.
"A general safety provision coupled with strong penalties is necessary in order to discourage businesses from dodging their responsibilities and sticking consumers with dangerous goods.
"Worryingly, even if a consumer has suffered lead poisoning as a result of drinking water from a dodgy tap and the company notified the regulator, there is currently no requirement for the public to be informed about the incident. The reports a company makes about injuries and deaths stay private,
"We now wait to see the outcome of further testing," says Mr Godfrey.
To join the campaign for stronger product safety laws visit choice.com.au/consumerlaw
Tom Godfrey, Head of Media and Spokesperson - 0430 172 669 - @choice_news