Standards Malaysia on danger in air fresheners: Grouses already aired but no action taken yet

  • Nation
  • Monday, 09 Sep 2013

PETALING JAYA: The report on dangers posed by air fresheners was sent by the Malaysian Association of Standards Users to three government bodies but, except for one meeting on the matter, no action has been taken.

In an exclusive interview with The Star, the association’s CEO, Ratna Devi Nadarajan, said the report was sent to the Health and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism ministries as well as to Standards Malaysia in 2011.

“Apart from one meeting facilitated by Standards Malaysia, there was no follow-up action taken. These products are still available in the market,” she said.

An officer at Standards Malaysia confirmed they had facilitated a meeting with the two ministries after receiving the report.

“After the meeting, the Domestic Trade Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry was to decide on the next course of action.

“However, the ministry later responded saying the regulation of air fresheners was not a priority at the moment,” he said.

He added that for Standards Malaysia to formulate standards to set the amount of chemicals allowed in air freshener products, a request must first be made to the relevant ministry.

A ministry officer said they could not regulate the sale of air fresheners in the country unless an international or local standard had been set.

“There is no international standard on air fresheners or any proof that they are harmful to humans.

“To regulate a product, we either have to abide by international standards or Standards Malaysia must come up with a standard itself.

“We also must have a lab here for manufacturers to test their products.

“We can’t simply ban a product without any evidence that it is harmful as that would be a trade barrier,” he said.

The Health Ministry, meanwhile, has not responded to The Star’s queries on the matter at press time.

Related stories:

Tests on air fresheners show high levels of dangerous chemicals

Packaging on air fresheners does not list out chemicals used

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