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Dangerous tongue studs banned.

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An immediate Australia-wide ban has been placed on the 'No Holes' tongue stud and similar products, the Hon Chris Pearce, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and responsible for consumer affairs at the Commonwealth level, announced today.

"The studs appear to be a fixed tongue stud but don't require the tongue to be pierced", Mr Pearce said.

"They are supposed to stick to the tongue by suction - but carry warnings against eating, drinking or any physical activity when using them.

"I am especially worried about their use by children. Although the products warn against their use by youngsters under the age of seven, children eight years and over are likely to be at risk".

The product was banned in New Zealand after a nine-year-old girl inhaled a stud which then lodged in her right lung.

"Emergency surgery had to be performed to remove the stud. Naturally, the paediatric surgeon looking after the girl and her family were extremely concerned about the product. This led to the ban".

Mr Pearce said that because such products could pose a dangerous - potentially fatal - ingestion and inhalation hazard they were to be banned in Australia.

Penalties under the Act can be severe on suppliers, including importers and retailers, and the courts can impose fines up to $1.1 million for corporations and $220,000 for individuals.

The ACCC will soon be conducting national surveys of retailers to ensure that the banned product is no longer being sold.

"I urge any retailers who may have the products to immediately withdraw them from sale and arrange for their destruction".

CANBERRA 23 February 2006

Contact: Gillian Harvey 03 9887 3890 or 0411 567 060 (Note: photos available of studs, packaging and fitting advice)

© Commonwealth of Australia 2000