L’UFC-What to choose places its ft in the dish as the begin of the new school 12 months approaches. The client protection affiliation denounced, in a study, the massive share of dangerous compounds in school provides. Ballpoint pens, highlighters, ink cartridges, coloured pencils, markers… The affiliation analyzed 36 on a regular basis merchandise, as the begin of the new school 12 months approaches. In whole, 40% of them include poisonous compounds. “We did the study for the first time six years in the past, and our outcomes had been horrifying, remembers Elisabeth Chesnais, journalist at What to decide on. We had 50% of the provides that had been carcinogenic or allergenic. Six years later, we mentioned to ourselves that the producers would have taken the measure, or that the nationwide authorities would have taken the downside under consideration. But no. Manufacturers haven’t taken under consideration the well being of kids.
On the industrial facet, we sigh, sweeping away the study with the again of the hand, like Stéphanie Verrier, president of the affiliation of stationery and workplace producers: “I discover that these articles come again yearly throughout this back-to-school interval…” Back to the five huge questions round this piquant study, which might shake up the conventional back-to-school races.
Will the study change the shopping for habits of the French?
Just a few days earlier than the begin of the school 12 months, will the UFC study overwhelm the enterprise of bic, stabilizer or Pilot Pen, indicted? Not so positive, believes Dominique Roux, professor of selling at the University of Reims-Champagne-Ardenne and specialist in client safety: “Today, not everyone knows what a consumer association is. The readership of UFC-Que Choisir is particular: he is 54 years old on average, is more educated, with many teachers. And, to have the complete study, you have to buy the number. “
[#Santé] Back to school: kids nonetheless uncovered to dangerous substances in #stationery school! 40% of the provides we analyzed include poisonous compounds!
👉https://t.co/6peMSxoLFU#endocrine disruptors pic.twitter.com/bNK8auhO1x
– UFC-Que Choisir (@UFCquechoisir) August 25, 2022
Added to the complexity of the study, in accordance with the skilled: “This study talks about a lot of different products (like Bic, Stabilo or Cultura), and different types of risks (like allergenic substances and carcinogenic substances). It accumulates a lot of information, you have to make a real effort to understand.” An understanding that’s all the harder as shoppers are more and more suspicious of the discourse emanating from client associations, in accordance with the researcher. Finally, continues Dominique Roux, unsure that the study – even understood and assimilated – doesn’t change conduct: “The client isn’t essentially going to go to new factors of sale to seek out higher merchandise, or to just accept pay more.” Stéphanie Verrier, president of the affiliation of stationery and workplace producers, doesn’t consider in an upheaval both: “Thes office supply professionals remain calm and positive.”
How are producers defending themselves?
On the facet of the producers, we deny the accusations of the UFC, like Stéphanie Verrier: “Thehe health of our schoolchildren is in no way in danger, scientific studies in support” – with out giving extra particulars on the research in query. Christophe Le Boulicaut, Managing Director France of Stabilo additionally says: “Stabilo, aware of its responsibility as a manufacturer, guarantees the safety and quality of the products it markets. Our products are subject to many European regulations, we apply and respect them all without exception for all of our products, and we are constantly adapting to them.” Same story from Bic, who “recalls that guaranteeing the safety of its products has always been an essential priority for the group. Bic products are safe products that can be used with confidence.”
What does the UFC demand from the public authorities?
For Dominique Roux, the objective of UFC-Que Choisir via this study is above all to observe a type of political lobbying. “They are asking the European legislator to apply to supplies what he applies to toys,” she explains. Elisabeth Chesnais of UFC-Que Choisir agrees: “The whole problem is that there are currently no specific regulations for school supplies. Conversely, for toys, it is much more controlled: when a child buys a toy, you can see everything in it.”
To assist its proposal, the UFC depends on a study by the National Food Safety Agency (Anses) revealed in July 2022, which additionally mentions this observe. “As ANSES is involved, this can work in favor of the UFC and the proposal can succeed”, analyzes Dominique Roux. On the industrial facet, Stéphanie Verrier replies: “Thehe European regulations are already very comprehensive.” But nuance: “If, nevertheless, research present the want for brand new laws, it will be as much as the public authorities to contemplate modifying these laws. Industrialists in the sector would then adjust to these new directives.
What recommendation does UFC-Que Choisir present to shoppers?
Even if some provides are deemed harmful by the UFC, the reality stays: all kids want them at the begin of the school 12 months. So, methods to wrestle on the cabinets? Elisabeth Chesnais offers some clues: “It is better to avoid all scented school supplies. There are substances that are not recommended.” For the relaxation, in his eyes, the best factor is to have the UFC listing in entrance of you. “Otherwise, we necessarily buy blindly and we are deceived.” Thus, a client will have a tendency to purchase merchandise from huge manufacturers fairly than distributor brandsinexpensive, and sometimes much less harmful for well being – not all the time nevertheless, she specifies.
Which merchandise are thought-about the most harmful?
The UFC-Que Choisir study factors out the shortcomings of a collection of merchandise, simply because it highlights the qualities of others. “It’s sector by sector: we tested everything that is used to draw, explains Elisabeth Chesnais. And we realize that the big brands sometimes have references that are correct in one sector, and very bad in another.” Example: Bic ‘Kids evolution’ coloured pencils are of fantastic high quality in accordance with the UFC, whereas the Bic ‘Cristal authentic’ pen is singled out for the presence of possible carcinogens.
The blue Paper Mate ‘Inkjoy’ and the black eco pack purchased at B& additionally include substances that are most likely carcinogenic. Stabilo Boss ‘Original Fluo’, Pilot ‘Kleer’ black erasable ballpoint pens and Pilot ‘Frixion medium’ rollerball pens are wealthy in allergenic substances. Finally, Cultura coloured pencils include endocrine disruptors. Not straightforward, subsequently, to seek out your method round in the crowd of back-to-school provides.