Defects detected in hearing protectors for children
Certain hearing protectors for children has been withdrawn from the market due to product defects.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 Five hearing protectors were withdrawn from the market on the basis of the tests.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.
Tukes obtained three hearing protectors for testing from online retailers, and three from high-street retailers in the Helsinki region. One of the products was Finnish and the others were foreign. On the basis of the tests, the five following hearing protectors were withdrawn from the market:
Children's hearing protectors:
- Finsafe by Finbullet, EP-108
- Banz, CEM-P1
- FinSafety, FIN1 KIDS
Protective eye wear and hearing protection set for children
- Kraft, SF-KID-2IN1
Further details and pictures of the products can be found on Tukes' market surveillance register. (in Finnish)
A range of defects were detectedin four of the tested products, for example in the product markings, documentation, user instructions and structure of the device. One product lacked user instructions altogether, and on one there was no CE marking. More serious defects involved the usability of and protection afforded by the devices. Measurements revealed that one of the devices failed to provide sufficient sound attenuation at low frequency. In the case of a few of the products, the headband force and pressure on the head were too great, making the protectors uncomfortable to wear. Too great a pressing force in hearing protection equipment aimed at children can damage developing bone structures.
Children's hearing needs to be protected in noisy everyday situations and at concerts and festivals. However, the best way to protect a child's hearing from harmful noise levels is to avoid such situations altogether. When purchasing hearing protection equipment, consumers should ensure that the product bears CE marking and that Finnish and Swedish-language instructions are included. The name, address and identification number of the inspection body which performed the type examination should be indicated in the user instructions, and a reference to standard EN 352 should be included on the product and in the instructions.
Authorities do not verify the safety of personal protective equipment in advance. Economic operators, i.e. manufacturers, distributors and importers, are responsible for ensuring that products are safe and compliant with the relevant requirements. Tukes requests that economic operators familiarise themselves with the requirements regarding personal protective equipment and ensure that they sell only compliant products and that such products are accompanied by the appropriate user instructions in Finnish and Swedish. Documents indicating the conformity of protective equipment, such as the EC type-examination certificate and an EC Declaration of Conformity, must be presented to the authorities upon request. Further details on the requirements related to personal protective equipment can be found on Tukes' website.
Product Safety Engineer Katri Sihvola, tel. +358 29 5052 197, [email protected]
See the following Tukes web pages for further details: personal protective equipment
Tukes’ ’Everyday Safety for Children’ theme week will be held from 13 to 19 November 2014
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