The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has finished its accident investigation of the explosive fire that took place on March 2nd, 2018, at an aerosol filling plant in Sipoo. One person was injured in the accident, and the production facilities and equipment were destroyed. To avoid similar accidents in the future, the investigative team recommends that adequate ventilation is ensured in plants that handle solvents and gases.
Tukes tested products from cheap online shops: nearly all of the toys, child care supplies and electrical appliances were dangerous
Because consumers have been shopping at online shops outside the EU increasingly often in the past few years, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) decided to test the safety of products sold in these shops that are popular among Finnish consumers. The results were alarming: only one item among the 32 toys, child care supplies, jewellery and electrical appliances purchased by Tukes fulfilled European requirements. If the products were sold in Finland, the shops would be obliged to collect them from the consumers. As for the cosmetics ordered, six products out of ten did not have the list of ingredients required in Europe. .
When food supplements purchased from distant lands contains designer drugs or a charger burns down the house, the buyer is responsible
Finnish authorities and other organisations campaign widely for safe online shopping. In recent years, consumer shopping at online shops located in distant lands has increased heavily, and Finnish Customs has filled up with small packages. At worst, these purchases can be “dangerous trash” according to the observations of the authorities. The campaign also wants to make consumers aware of their own responsibility: if you buy items directly from outside the EU, you are also responsible for the safety of the products.
The KemiDigi project (digital chemical data management) collects information on chemicals in one place and simplifies the companies’ obligations to submit information related to chemicals. Among other things, companies can use the system to submit chemical notifications on the chemicals they have placed on the market and maintain the chemical lists they require for permits and monitoring, among other things. The chemical ratio calculator for determining the operating level of chemical plants (Act on the Safe Handling and Storage of Dangerous Chemicals and Explosives) will also be moved to KemiDigi in connection with the chemical lists. KemiDigi will be deployed in early 2019.
New features of chemical establishment surveillance: remote inspections and inspections of the corporate group
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has introduced new methods for monitoring the handling and storage of dangerous chemicals. Tukes aims to increase the effectiveness of the monitoring and establish a more customer-oriented approach with the changes. The changes do not require any additional measures from companies.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) warns about the choking hazard posed by Squishies toys. Tukes asks consumers to return to the seller any I Love Squishies toys that have easily detachable small parts that may pose a risk of choking. Most Finnish toy distributors have withdrawn Squishies toys from the market independently, but an abundant supply is still available in foreign online stores.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) will examine how the safety of a public event was ensured in the Finnish Rally Championship event in Seinäjoki and whether the organiser had complied with the requirements of the Consumer Safety Act. The event organiser is responsible for safety at the event and the placement of spectators in the area.
Ore exploration operations in Finland continued fast growth in 2017. Drilling conducted by exploration companies increased by 53% compared to the previous year. Altogether 46 companies submitted their exploration reports to Tukes last year. Investments in mines increased by 25% compared to the previous year and ore exploitation grew by 11%. In the Annual Survey of the Fraser Institute, Finland ranked 1st globally in the Investment Attractiveness Index. The report says “Finland is a very transparent system, with excellent access to data and information”. This data can be found from the mining statistics published by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes, Mining Authority in Finland).
Commencing today, the ‘Watch out for online scams’ campaign aims to warn consumers of scammers operating online. Everyone using the Internet should keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.
Customs and the Safety and Chemicals Agency find numerous defects in intensified controls of personal protective equipment
In autumn 2017 and at the turn of the year, Customs and the Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) carried out intensified controls of personal protective equipment meant for the consumer market. The controls focused on protective equipment used in sports, and on eye protection equipment used for fireworks. Customs carried out controls of import consignments of protective equipment in cooperation with the Safety and Chemicals Agency. Customs authorities observed defects in almost half of the consignments that contained personal protective equipment.
Safety goggles give good protection against firework sparks and any stray fireworks. Safety goggles are compulsory for those who set off fireworks. The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) recommends that people watching fireworks should wear them, too.
Tests conducted by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) found defects in brass fittings which may be installed in domestic water pipes. The brass alloys of two fittings were unsuitable for conditions in Finland and were withdrawn from the market. The testing of brass fittings and manifolds comprises part of a comprehensive construction product testing programme to be implemented this year.
Montreal Protocol signed 30 years ago has grown into a success story in international environmental protection
16 September marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. Thanks to the protocol, the ozone layer is now recovering and it is expected to be almost fully restored in about 50 to 70 years. All countries of the world have ratified the protocol.
At this time of the year, shops are offering an abundance of fancy dresses for the May Day parties, and many parents buy them for their children. According to tests commissioned by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), there are safety defects in some of the fancy dresses sold in shops. Parents can themselves improve the safety of their children who wear fancy dresses.
Ore exploration operations in Finland started to grow in 2016, despite global downtrend. Drilling conducted by exploration companies increased by 37% compared to the previous year. Altogether 41 companies submitted their ore exploration reports to Tukes last year. Investments in mines increased by 54% compared to the previous year and ore exploitation grew by 33%. This data can be found from the mining statistics published by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes, Mining Authority in Finland).
Bruises, broken bones, electric shocks, harmful chemicals – non-compliant products may pose many kind of hazards to consumers. In 2016, a total of 2,044 notifications of dangerous products were entered in the European Rapid Alert System (RAPEX). According to EU Commission statistics, most of the notifications still relate to toys, but notifications related to motor vehicles have increased over the past few years.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) celebrates Finland’s 100 years of independence by publishing a series of articles under the heading turvallisuus100+ (Safety100+).
Tukes' new strategy embraces the possibilities involved in the reform of the work of government authorities
The new strategy of the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), for the period up to 2022, emphasises responsibility, accountability, a risk-based approach, digitalisation and cooperation. Tukes develops new kinds of control methods and is closely involved in the development of regulations. It has also launched safety emojis in line with current communication trends.
Consumer safety surveillance has been part of environmental healthcare, and consumer services have been supervised in municipal co-operation areas under the guidance of the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and Regional State Administrative Agencies. In December 2015, the Finnish Parliament decided on an amendment to the Consumer Safety Act according to which consumer safety surveillance will be separated from environmental healthcare; the jurisdiction of the municipalities and Regional State Administrative Agencies over consumer safety surveillance will be transferred to Tukes as of 1 May 2016. In addition, operators are no longer obliged to make a notification before commencing the provision of a consumer service.
Over 2,000 notifications on dangerous products are issued to the European Rapid Alert System (RAPEX) every year. Most of the notifications relate to toys, clothing, textiles and fashion items. The Rapid Alert System ensures wide circulation of information about dangerous products, thus enabling efficient withdrawal of such products from the European market. The Commission published a press release and the 2015 statistics on the Rapid Alert System on 25 April 2016.
After the adoption of new EU product directives on 20 April, importers and distributors find themselves with more responsibility for product compliance. For example, importers will need to ensure that the manufacturer has performed all applicable conformity assessment procedures. Distributors will need to ensure that products carry the necessary markings, information and user instructions in Finnish and Swedish. The responsibilities of manufacturers and authorised representatives have also been laid down more clearly.
Ore exploration operations in Finland continued to fall in 2015, as the amount of drilling conducted by exploration companies decreased compared to the previous year. Despite this drop, ore exploration in 2015 was conducted all over Finland and covered an even larger area than before. This data can be found from the mining statistics published by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes).
Eighty-seven per cent of rodents or animals eating rodent carcasses are exposed to the active substances contained in rodenticides. A study conducted by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), the University of Turku, the National Food Safety Authority Evira and the Finnish Museum of Natural History Luomus sought to identify rodenticides in a total of 136 mammals and birds in Finland. Either one or several active substances used in rodenticides were found in 119 samples.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira have completed their investigation into potential links between plant protection products and bee deaths in summer 2015. Laboratory analyses revealed that dimethoate is likely to have contributed to the bee deaths. Tukes attaches special importance to the need to protect pollinators when using plant protection products and will re-evaluate the bee warnings that are a condition for the safe use of plant protection products. Based on the lessons learnt from this case, Tukes intends to step up surveillance to be more equipped to determine any links between the use of plant protection products and bee deaths.
A number of bee deaths occurred in Loimaa last summer, believed to be linked to plant protection products. Tukes instructed the Southwest Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) to inspect local farmers’ records of their use of plant protection products in the fields closest to the beehives. The inspections covered a radius of two kilometres from the beehives. The inspected farms were found to have complied with the regulations on the use of plant protection products. The ELY Centre inspectors also interviewed the bee-keepers to gauge their views on what had happened.
Samples were taken of the dead bees, and laboratory analyses of the samples were completed towards the end of the year. The bee samples from Loimaa were found to contain dimethoate in concentrations that probably explain the death of the bees. Dimethoate is a sprayable plant protection product which has been approved for use as a pesticide. The concentrations of other plant protection products that were measured from the dead bees were too small to have been the sole cause of deaths.
However, the dimethoate had not originated from the fields closest to the beehives where the losses had occurred, and its origins could not be ascertained in the course of the inspections carried out by the local ELY Centre. Tracking the movements of bees is challenging, because they can forage over an area of several square kilometres.
Several authorities involved in investigating bee deaths
Tukes is responsible for the approval and surveillance of plant protection products. In practice, surveillance is delegated to the ELY Centres, which inspect that plant protection products are used appropriately. The bee sample analyses of 2015 were the first analyses of plant protection products in bee samples that Tukes has ever commissioned, and the laboratory analyses were performed by Evira. Tukes intends to improve the surveillance of plant protection products in cooperation with other authorities and operators, in order to be able to investigate links between bee deaths and the use of plant protection products more efficiently in the future. It appears that, in cases of suspected bee losses, inspections on the use of plant protection products should be extended to cover a larger radius from beehives.
Tukes evaluates the risks associated with individual plant protection products before they are placed on the market. Only products that are found to be safe are approved for use. Tukes attaches special importance to the appropriateness of the bee warnings on plant protection products that have been approved for use as pesticides and disseminates information about the safe use of plant protection products. Plant protection products must be used in accordance with the instructions and restrictions stated on product labels. Responsibility for strict compliance with the instructions and restrictions rests with product users.
For more information:
- Surveillance of the use of PPPs:
Senior Officer Lotta Kaila, Tukes, Market Surveillance of Chemicals
Tel. +358 29 505 2084
- Environmental impacts of PPPs:
Senior Officer Sari Autio, Tukes, Plant Protection Products
Tel. +358 29 505 2026
- PPP trace analyses:
Senior Researcher Kati Hakala, Evira
Tel. +358 29 530 4430
European Chemicals Agency ECHA's Press Release
It is now easier to find information on 120 000 chemicals used in Europe today. There is now a new, easier way to find out about the chemicals we use on a daily basis. The information is available in three layers of complexity: the simple infocard, the more detailed brief profile and the full source data.
In a new, joint Nordic teaching material the youngest school children are taught about the hazardous properties of e.g. drain cleaner, lighter fluid and limescale remover, and about why such products need to be handled with caution.
More and more Finns do their Christmas shopping online. Online shopping requires vigilance, as many online stores sell counterfeit goods or, in some cases, unsafe products. The Finnish supervisory authorities wish to remind consumers that, when it comes to online shopping, knowledge is power.
The Finnish Baseball Association (Suomen Pesäpalloliitto ry), manufacturers of protective headgear, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) remind players of the importance of using headgear during games and practices. Players should also remember that a helmet provides no protection unless in good condition and properly fastened.
New tools for accident investigators and trainers have been developed by ESReDA. The tools include a model to analyse what has been learned and what has not, a list of barriers that prevent learning, and guidelines on accident investigation training.
The same kinds of accidents occur time and again at production establishments handling dangerous chemicals. Can we not learn from previous accidents? Do we use appropriate accident investigation methods, and do we have enough co-operation in the investigation work? These were the topics studied by Tanja Heinimaa, Senior Adviser at the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency, in her licentiate thesis Improving the safety of Seveso establishments in Finland by developing the accident investigation process.
To achieve social acceptability mining companies have the challenge of proving that environmental and safety issues are under control. Responsible decision-making and operations is a prerequisite. Social acceptability is linked with the interaction between society and industry and what is within the best interest of society.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) will be hosting a meeting of European mining authorities in Finland on 15–16 September 2015 under the theme of the social acceptability of mines.
Piki's Room, a safety game aimed at children of day care age, has been created by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) together with the children's programme Pikku Kakkonen of Yle (Finland's national broadcasting company) and Demola, a student innovation centre in Tampere. The game, which seeks to teach children the right attitudes towards safety, and safe conduct, has succeeded in reaching its target audience. Published on the Pikku Kakkonen website in the spring, it is played by around 2,000 young children every day. This week, five new games will be added to Piki's Room for children. The Fire Protection Fund, Sähköturvallisuuden edistämiskeskus - the centre for promoting electrical safety, and road safety promoter Liikenneturva have also contributed to the design and implementation of the new games.
Supervision by the authorities and consumer protection do not cover the online stores of far-off countries
An increasing number of Finns make purchases online. The ease, limitless selections and price attract consumers to shop online. The campaign ‘Information Brings Safety’, launched today, draws attention to issues that online shoppers should consider before placing an order online. The campaign reminds people that in the event of problems, Finnish supervisory authorities can only intervene in products purchased from Finnish online stores, and in regard to the marketing and contract terms of online stores, only those written in the Finnish language. A number of Finnish supervisory authorities are supporting this campaign, now initiated for the second time.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) recommends that anyone considering having a tattoo should check with the tattoo artist whether the inks used meet the chemical safety requirements. Several tattoo inks have been withdrawn from the market in Europe because they contain ingredients classified as hazardous, such as azo compounds, aromatic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals, nickel, lead and chromium.
In 2014, a total of 2,435 notifications on dangerous products were issued to the European Rapid Alert System (RAPEX). Most of the notifications related to toys, clothing, textiles and fashion items. RAPEX ensures wide circulation of information about dangerous products, thus enabling efficient withdrawal of such products from the European market. Finland made 109 RAPEX notifications last year, mostly on electrical products and toys. The European Commission has published annual RAPEX statistics at its website.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and the German Federal Environment Agency, Umweltbundesamt (UBA), are concerned about the environmental risks of veterinary medicines. In their opinion, a proposal adopted in September by the European Commission – for a new Regulation on Veterinary Medicinal Products – does not include sufficient provisions to ensure a high level of environmental protection. Both public authorities are stressing out the aim of a new legislation to guarantee successfully a high level of environmental protection. There are additional key measures as e.g. a review programme on environmental data of active pharmaceutical substances and the public availability of these data necessary to ensure the environmental safety of veterinary medicines. The UBA and Tukes expressed their concerns to representatives of the European Parliament and Commission, NGOs, competent authorities and researchers at an event in Brussels on Wednesday.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), together with Yle, Finland's national broadcasting company and Demola, a student innovation centre in Tampere, has generated a safety game aimed at children aged between 3 and 5. A section entitled Piki's Room, published on the Pikku Kakkonen website, teaches children the safe ways to act in a fun and engaging manner. Tukes hopes the game will have a positive impact on children's attitudes toward safety and reduce the number of accidents involving children.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) reminds readers that composite bottles for breathing apparatuses are due for periodic inspection by an inspection body at three-year intervals. Composite bottles must be handled with care, as any damage due to impacts may affect their pressure strength. The condition of the bottle and valve must always be checked after use and before filling. Other key safety features include the correct colour coding of bottles, compliance with service life limits and regular maintenance.
Joint press release of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), the Finnish Medicines Agency (FIMEA), the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Finland (STUK), Finnish Customs, and the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) on 28 November 2014:
Online shopping is effortless, but it requires that the consumers are aware of its risks and remain alert. The campaign ‘Information Brings More Safety’, launched today, draws attention to issues that online shoppers should consider before placing an order online. The campaign is organised by a group of Finnish supervision authorities.
The safety of prams and pushchairs was investigated in a joint European product safety market surveillance project with the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) representing Finland. In the surveillance action, 51 prams, pushchairs, and pram and pushchair combos were tested. Serious defects were detected in eight of the tested products. In Finland, four products were selected for testing, and on the basis of the tests, one pushchair and one pram were withdrawn from the market.
Certain hearing protectors for children has been withdrawn from the market due to product defects. The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has tested six hearing protectors for children, at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH). Five hearing protectors were withdrawn from the market on the basis of the tests. Defects were detected in the cushion pressure on the head, headband force, the device's minimum attenuation and in the user instructions and product markings.
This release describes the qualities of premises on which diving bottles can be filled and the requirements for persons responsible for the filling station and for filling operators.
The guide 'A Safe Home for A Child' was published by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) in April 2014. The English-language version of the guide is now available online. The guide provides practical advice on how to improve chemical and consumer safety at home. In a recent survey by Tukes, one in five respondents were concerned about exposure to chemicals in their everyday lives.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has commissioned a survey from Taloustutkimus, examining the Finnish people’s attitudes towards the use of products that contain chemicals. Most Finnish people are unconcerned about exposure to chemicals in their everyday lives. On the other hand, one in five are at least mildly concerned. More than half of Finnish people always or almost always read chemical warning labels and user instructions.
Ministry of Employment and the Economy's press release
Ph.D. Kimmo Peltonen will start in the post of Director General of the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) from 1 July 2014. The post is for a fixed term of seven years. The Government decided on the appointment on 27 March 2014.
In 2013, a total of 2,364 notifications of dangerous products were entered in the European RAPEX system. The number of notifications has quadrupled over the last ten years. Most of these notifications concerned toys or clothing, textiles and fashion items. Finnish authorities entered a total of 89 notifications in the system, most of which concerned electrical products and toys.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has withdrawn from the Finnish market seven non-conforming eye and face protectors used in airsoft gaming. During its surveillance project, Tukes commissioned tests for nine face protectors and protective goggles with plastic or mesh screens. Several deficiencies were found with the protectors' labelling and instructions for use; four products lacked the CE marking, for example. One product had a structural flaw that could be hazardous to users. None of the operators could present the necessary documents for the products.
ECHA celebrates the World Consumer Rights' Day 2014 by publishing more information about the safe use of chemicals for consumers.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has made the decision to permit the sale, marketing and use of rape and turnip rape seeds treated with the products Cruiser OSR, Elado FS 480 and Modesto from 3 March to 30 June 2014. The temporary authorisations only apply to the use of seeds that have already been treated. Tukes does not permit the treatment of new seeds.
The death of electrician in Savitaipale was caused by insufficient observance of safety instructions
The accidental death of an electrician in Savitaipale on 17 April 2013 was caused by insufficient observance of safety precautions. An electrician of a Polish contractor died of electric shock in an occupational accident at electric installation work on a 400 kV transmission line. According to the investigation carried out by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), there were also defects in the operation of the persons responsible for the contractors' electrical safety. The investigation report of the accident in Savitaipale has been published on Tukes's website.
The first national chemical hazard communication plan is under preparation in Finland, and the first draft version is now ready. An open hearing is organised for gathering comments and opinions.
After testing Tukes has discovered only minor defects in cigarette lighters. Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes ) had ten cigarette lighter models marketed in Finland tested by SGS Fimko Oy. The small defects discovered were related to e.g. warning labels and -symbols of which the importers have been notified of.
Nordic co-operation in electrical safety aims at accident prevention and early identification of safety risks. Electrical accidents in the Nordic countries have now been studied further by M.Sc. (Eng.) Ms. Minna Kinnunen in her thesis "Electrical Accident Hazards in the Nordic Countries". The electrical safety situation in the Nordic countries was studied through analyzing records of electrical accidents occurring in the Nordic countries during year 2011 and by interviewing the authorities.
In 2012, a total of 1,938 notifications of products posing a serious risk to consumers’ health and safety were made in member countries of the European Union. Most of these notifications concerned clothing, textiles and fashion items. The number of notifications increased by 26 per cent compared to the previous year. Finnish authorities belonging to the RAPEX network entered a total of 116 notifications in the system, most of which concerned toys and electrical products.
Dry suits are classified as personal protective equipment that must meet European safety requirements. Before placing dry suits on the market, they must be submitted for EC type examination by a notified body which is authorised to grant products an EC type examination certificate. The manufacturer or its authorised representative must certify the conformity of the product by drawing up an EC declaration of conformity and affixing the CE marking on the protective equipment. Only safe dry suits that comply with the provisions of the relevant Directive are allowed to be placed on the market. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health will be able to start EC type examinations of dry suits in April 2013. The Finnish Safety and Chemical Agency (Tukes) supervises the safety and conformity of personal protective equipment intended for consumer use.
The third enforcement project co-ordinated by the Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has been launched in Finland. The project’s target is to ensure that importers and so-called only representatives of chemical manufacturers have fulfilled their registration obligations. In the enforcement project, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) will verify that importers who have imported thousand kilos of chemicals or more from outside the EU in the past year have also registered or pre-registered the substances.
The safety of nanomaterials is investigated in the EU’s just-beginning extensive Nanoreg project as a joint effort by the authorities and the industry. Finland’s goal in the project is to continue to study the safety of microfibrillar and nanofibrillar cellulose. To date, only a little is known about the health and environmental hazard impacts of nanoparticles, although the industrial use of nanomaterials has increased rapidly. For example, they are already common in sports equipment, sunscreens and other cosmetics products.
Serious safety deficiencies were detected in the traditional safety tests on Christmas toys. The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) selected 28 toys for testing. Five out of these toys had such serious deficiencies that they will be recalled from shops and consumers. Less serious structural flaw was found in one toy, and a total of 14 toys carried insufficient markings. The requirements were met by half of the tested toys.
In their joint control procedures, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and the Finnish Customs have discovered several blinds that can result in accidental strangulation of children. Some of the warning signs and instructions for blinds have also been insufficient. The loops and cords of various blinds can be dangerous to children especially if a child is able to push his head through the loop. Thanks to monitoring and raising awareness of the matter, the safety of blinds has improved to a significant extent.
Accident investigation revealed deficiencies in EURENCO Vihtavuori Ltd´s identification of chemical risks
Fire damage at EURENCO Vihtavuori Ltd's gunpowder factory in Laukaa (Finland) was caused by the rapid combustion of vaporized ether. No specific reason for the fire was identified during the accident investigation conducted by the Safety and Chemicals Authority (Tukes), but it was presumably caused by static electricity or a hard bump that caused sparks. At the time of the accident, there were exceptionally high concentrations of highly inflammable ether in the atmosphere, which suddenly burst into flames. During the accident, which occurred in May 2012, two workers were injured, one of whom sustained severe burns. Tukes’ accident investigation detected deficiencies in the company's ability to assess chemical risks, implement changes and comply with instructions.
As of 1 December 2012, the safety data sheets on chemicals must comply with the EU Regulation No 453/2010. As the chemical notifications sent to the Chemical Products Register of the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) are based on the safety data sheet, the chemical notifications shall also be revised. In future, Tukes will return to the sender any chemical notifications based on outdated legislation.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) adopts new telephone numbers on 4 September 2012, starting with +358 295 instead of +358 106. Accordingly, the new number of our switchboard is +358 29 5052 000.
The probable technical cause of the accident in the yard of the Talvivaara Sotkamo plant, which resulted in the death of an employee, was a reaction caused by limestone slurry pumped into a pre-neutralisation storage tank. As a result, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide were released into the yard. The accident investigation conducted by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) detected several safety deficiencies.
In 2011, a total of 1,556 notifications of products posing a serious risk to consumers’ health and safety were made in the European Union member countries. Most of the notifications concerned clothing, textiles and fashion items.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) is hosting a meeting of the European market surveillance authorities in Tampere on 27 March 2012. Attended by representatives from ten EU member states and Norway, the meeting seeks to find joint rules for the surveillance of the use of environmentally hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products.
Lots of deficiencies in hair dye product labelling were detected in a surveillance project conducted by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). Tukes obtained 15 samples from physical and online stores and had them tested at the Customs Laboratory. The product labelling was inspected and the products were analysed for certain forbidden dye substances, preservatives and hydrogen peroxide concentration. Labelling deficiencies were detected in 12 products, and the composition of two products was non-compliant. Five products were withdrawn from the market.
There is room for improvement in the safety and quality of children’s prams, according to Anna Pukander, researcher at the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). Tukes commissioned tests on six different prams, which revealed safety failings posing a risk to children. In one case, the failings in a combination pram were so serious that the importer recalled the products and removed the prams from the market, while the defects were corrected.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) is hosting a joint meeting of the EU chemicals surveillance authorities in Tampere on 7–9 September 2011. Attended by more than 35 participants invited from 20 EU member states, the meeting of the so-called Seveso Directive enforcement authorities particularly addresses the assessment of the safety reports to be prepared by chemicals establishments. The aim is to harmonise both the inspections carried out at industrial plants and the safety report procedure practices in the member states.
Press release of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy
In accordance with a Government proposal, the new Mining Act is planned to enter into force on 1 July 2011. The new Act supersedes the current Act, which entered into force in 1965. The new Mining Act is due for approval at the presidential session on 10 June 2011.
Information about products that cause serious risk flows more effectively between EU Member States. The number of notifications in RAPEX, the EU rapid alert system for the change of information about dangerous consumer products, has increased notably in the last few years. In 2010 a total of almost 2,000 notifications was received of products causing a serious risk for consumers' health and safety, of which around 100 from Finland. The report for 2010 compiled by the European Commission will be published today, 12 May 2010.
From 1 January 2011 Finland has a new national safety authority. This is following the incorporation of the chemical products surveillance in Finland under a new agency called the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). With a staff of more than 200 people, the new Tukes is an even larger centre for product surveillance that oversees and promotes technical safety and conformity in a variety of branches as well as performing consumer and chemical safety duties.