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Consumer product testing

The Government Laboratory tests and assesses a range of consumer products.

Typically these may be submitted by Trading Standards Officers from the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading to assist with their investigation of consumers’ complaints, or to verify the safety and compliance of products, whether imported or made on the Island. Testing is also be undertaken on behalf of other Government Departments and businesses, whether as part of the investigation of problems or to assist in determining whether their own products are satisfactory.

Toys and novelties

Toys must comply with rigorous safety standards in order to ensure that they are safe for children to play with – standards that take into account the age of children. Typical tests include assessing the potential for small parts to become detached that could choke young children, the presence of unexpected sharp edges or points, the presence of toxic metals such as lead in paint, and flammability.

Novelties that are not toys but which may be played with by children are assessed in a similar manner.

Other consumer products

Other consumer products are tested from time to time, either to assess safety or to investigate the cause of failure or some other problem. Examples include household and garden chemicals, ceramics, paints and electrical appliances.

Safety testing may relate to either the whole product or a particular aspect of interest, and may focus on composition, construction or labelling, applying a recognised standard where one exists or otherwise with the Government Analyst in his capacity as Public Analyst determining and recommending an appropriate standard.

Problem investigation may also look at composition or construction, or the assessment of external factors.

The Laboratory is always keen to help, although practical constraints and the sheer range of types of product can sometimes limit our response.

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