Group wants precautionary ban on hoverboards
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - January 2, 2016 - 10:03pm
MANILA, Philippines – An environmentalist group wants to impose a precautionary ban on the importation, sale and use of popular scooter ride “hoverboard” until it is proven and declared safe.
 
A non-profit health and environmental watchdog group, EcoWaste Coalition, expressed its call to ban the use and sale of self-balancing, two-wheel scooter, hoverboards until its safety issues have been fully resolved after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Health’s (DOH) initiated a probe on its safety issues
.
DTI Undersecretary Victorio Dimagiba on December 29 announced that DTI and DOH formed a panel to investigate the safety issues of hoverboards.
 
“We welcome the formation of the panel and urge its members to get to the bottom of the hoverboard safety controversy as soon as possible,” Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect Thony Dizon said.
 
“Pending the initiation and completion of the probe and the adoption of strong safety standards, we find it logical for the government to enforce a precautionary ban on hoverboards that are being sold in formal and informal retail outlets, as well as in online shopping sites,” he added.
 
The investigating panel is scheduled to meet this month. 
 
DTI and DOH also advised the public against purchasing hoverboards for kids below 14 years old “in the light of reported health and safety issues/concerns (including fires and explosion as a precautionary measure."
 
The hoverboards are being sold from P7,500 to P14,500 in Divisoria toy stores. Online retailer Lazada offers Hoverboards from P7,315 to P17,999, while OLX sells them for P5,500 to P75,000.
 
EcoWaste suggested that retailers who will fail to provide verifiable assurance of safety of the hoverboards they are selling should voluntarily return these products to their source citing fire and fall incidents involving hoverboards in Europe and United Sates (US).
 
“The reported fire and fall incidents in Europe and US involving substandard hoverboards should spur strong product safety, labeling and warning requirements,” Dizon said.
 
Dizon cited that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the US admitted that there is no safety standard in place for hoverboards while the National Trading Standards in the United Kingdom found that after examining over 17,000 hoverboards, some are non-compliant plugs without fuses, which increases the risk of the device overheating, exploding or catching fire.
 
Due to the reports, the EcoWaste advised those who already bought hoverboards to follow safety tips based on the CPSC which include preventing to charge overnight, keeping it away from combustibles, avoiding vehicular traffic and wearing safety gear while using hoverboard.
 
The group also asked the DTI and DOH to release and implement regulatory measures to ban market of toys with hazardous chemicals like lead and other toxic metals, phthalates and persistent organic pollutants.
 

ACIRC CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY DIV DIZON EUROPE AND UNITED SATES HOVERBOARDS NATIONAL TRADING STANDARDS NBSP SAFETY
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