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Hockey warns on lead candle wicks.

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Media Release


The HON. Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Financial Services & Regulation






The Minister for Financial Services & Regulation, Joe Hockey, today warned consumers that the safety of a particular type of candle imported from China is under investigation.


“An independent investigator has provided the Department with a report on tests he has conducted on candles that have a lead core within their wick,’ the Minister said.


“The report concludes that these candles, when burned in an enclosed space for a long period, could release dangerously high levels of lead into the atmosphere. Children and infants would be most likely to be affected.


“The Department is now attempting to establish the actual extent of the safety hazard and the risk of lead poisoning.


“While I have no wish to alarm the public by issuing a premature warning about these candles, I consider it my duty to alert consumers, particularly pregnant women and those with young children, to the possible risk.”


The candles can be identified by a silvery or dark metallic core to the fabric of the wick. They are unbranded and marked “Made in China”. They come in a variety of styles, shapes and colours. However, not all candles have been tested. The candles subject to the tests were tall form candles 15 inch or 38 cm tall with a 5.4 cm base diameter.


The Minister warned consumers to stop using the candles until the results of the Departmental investigation are released.


“I am not prepared to take any risks with the health and safety of consumers, and in the light of the evidence presented to me it is my duty to ensure that consumers are aware of the possible risks associated with the use of these candles,” the Minister said.


19 August 1999


Media contact: Matthew Abbott, 02 6277 7230, 0413 076 213.


Department contact: Raphael Cicchini, 02 6263 3983.



al  1999-08-20  09:30