Thursday, 12 February 2004

Questions (116, 117, 118, 119)

Dan Boyle

Question:

112 Mr. Boyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the plans she has to strengthen regulations on placing child resistant tops on all containers with chemical substances. [4503/04]

View answer

Dan Boyle

Question:

113 Mr. Boyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the proposal she has to increase the size of hazardous warning labels on domestic use products. [4504/04]

View answer

Dan Boyle

Question:

115 Mr. Boyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she sees value in a media campaign raising awareness of the dangers of household chemicals. [4507/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112, 113 and 115 together.

The principal legislative provisions covering warning labels on dangerous substance products are contained in the European Communities (Classification, Packaging, Labelling and Notification of Dangerous Substances) Regulations, 2003 and the use of products by the European Communities (Dangerous Substances and Preparations) (Marketing and Use) Regulations, 2003. These regulations, enforced by the Health and Safety Authority, transpose into Irish law and implement the latest EU directives in the dangerous substances area.

The Director of Consumer Affairs, in her role as the enforcement agency for the European Communities General Product Safety Regulations, 1997, has responsibility for the market surveillance of products covered by the EU general product safety directive. This entails ensuring that items placed on the market do not present a risk to the safety of persons or animals.

The director is not aware of any demand for the placing of child resistant tops on all containers with chemical substances or for an increase in the size of hazardous warning labels on domestic use products over and above that contained in the relevant legislative provisions.

Implementation of the regulations governing the labelling and use of dangerous substances is designed to alert users, in the most effective manner, as to the potential dangers associated with such products and to heighten the general level of awareness of the public in their use of substances of this nature.

Dan Boyle

Question:

114 Mr. Boyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will request that the Health and Safety Authority conducts a report on the use and effects of chemicals in the workplace. [4506/04]

View answer

The Health and Safety Authority's programme of work for 2004 stresses that inspection, workplace advice, investigation and enforcement activities of the authority are a key tool in achieving its vision of a safe and healthy working life.

In 2004, the authority is committed to focusing on achieving improvements in a number of the high priority issues including chemical safety.

I am satisfied that the authority has committed itself to an extensive and comprehensive programme of work on chemical safety generally in 2004, and, therefore, I do not propose to request the authority to conduct any special report on the use and effects of chemicals in the workplace.

Question No. 115 answered with QuestionNo. 112.