The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBS) has confiscated 583 boxes of substandard cotton earbuds made of wooden stem.
The earbuds being sold under the brand name Chico were seized in Naivasha and Nyahururu for not meeting the specifications of Kenya Standard KS 2245 that requires cotton earbuds to be made of a polyethylene stem that does not break when bent to approximately 45º.
“Wood stick earbuds are a health and safety concern as they tend to break and splinter and may therefore injure the ear canal,” said Lt Col (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, KEBS.
In sustained countrywide market surveillance activities, the Standards body also impounded hundreds of substandard non-woven carrier bags in Nyahururu that were found not to meet labeling or branding requirements as outlined in Kenya Standard KNWA 2284 – non-woven polypropylene bags specifications.
Knitting yarns by the brand name Brazilian Wool were also seized in Nakuru for non-compliance against Kenya Standard KS 496: Acrylic yarn specification.
The manufacturers have been instructed to withdraw their products from the market and undertake the necessary corrective actions before they can be allowed to sell the products to consumers, supermarkets, and retail outlets.
KEBS monitors the effectiveness of quality control measures for products sold in the country through factory inspections, product certifications, market surveillance activities at the factory, and market to ensure that the public is protected from harmful products.
As part of the product certification scheme, KEBS certifies and issues a Standardization Mark (SM) permit or Diamond Mark of Quality once the product complies with the relevant Kenya Standard. Imports are also issued with a Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) number.
It should be noted that any person who contravenes any of the provisions of subsections of the Standards Act, Cap 496, of the Laws of Kenya mentioned above or fails to comply with any conditions in a permit, shall be guilty of an offence.