Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Poisonous Candles Banned

23 June 2000 Media Statement

Poisonous Candles Banned

Consumer Affairs Minister Phillida Bunkle today announced a ban on candles containing lead in their wicks.

Tests show that the candles can cause lead poisoning, emitting 500 to 1000 micrograms of lead per hour into the air when burned.

"The injury risks from lead poisoning are well known, but many don’t realise they are exposing themselves and their children to this risk by burning these types of poisonous candles," Ms Bunkle said.

The lead-wick candles are also subject to a federal ban in Australia.

The candles causing the problem have a metallic thread in the wick and tests have revealed that in some instances the threads are lead. Others are zinc and not unsafe. The Minister said the lead threads are very easy to bend, and will make marks on paper like a pencil does.

People unsure about their candles at home could check by looking for a silvery or dark metallic core to the fabric of the wick.

"I urge people at home to check their candles – it will be easier to spot on a new candle but if, while burning the candle you notice silvery droplets at the wick tip and silvery metallic droplets at the base of the molten wax pool then you should be suspicious of them. I urge consumers to throw suspicious candles out," Ms Bunkle said.

"When these products were first discovered on the market, suppliers had been co-operative in withdrawing them from the shelves when asked to do so. However the candles keep creeping back into the market and my officials have advised me that the most effective way to protect the public is to ban their supply."

Ms Bunkle said she was declaring the candles and candle wicks containing lead to be unsafe goods under section 31 of the Fair Trading Act.

The ban comes into effect as soon as the unsafe goods notice is published in the New Zealand Gazette within the next week.

Once the notice has been gazetted retailers and importers will be breaching the Fair Trading Act if they supply, offer to supply or advertise to supply these types of candles. The importation of these candles and candle wicks will also be prohibited.

The penalties for breaching the new ban are substantial – individuals could be fined up to $30,000 and a company up to $100,000. The Commerce Commission is responsible for enforcing unsafe goods notices under the Fair Trading Act 1986.

Other dangerous goods have been banned under the Act such as pistol crossbows.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election