Latest figures from National Trading Standards reveal nearly two million unsafe or noncompliant products were identified between April and December 2014.
Children's toys, cosmetics and DIY products are biggest offenders Children's scooters, beauty products and LED lights are among 1.9 million items that were intercepted at entry points in England and Wales between April and December 2014, estimates from National Trading Standards reveal.
The new figures, which equate to more than 6,500 detained items every day, are thought to be the 'tip of the iceberg' as consumers are urged to take extra care when shopping online.
During the nine-month period analysed by National Trading Standards*, nearly two in five interventions by its Safety at Ports and Borders teams identified products as 'unsafe or noncompliant', meaning they posed a risk to the health or safety of consumers. Taking these products out of the supply chain is estimated to save the UK economy over £57 million** in potential costs of injuries, fatalities or fires.
Items detained by the NTS Safety at Ports and Borders teams, who work across 14 local authorities at ports, airports and postal hubs, included 397 home tooth whitening kits containing unsafe levels of hydrogen peroxide, thousands of cosmetic products like shampoo, skin lightening cream and body lotion, LED lights, children's scooters and other toys.
With consumers increasingly shopping online and searching for a bargain, National Trading Standards is urging everyone to think before they buy and has produced a checklist to help people shop more safely. Top tips include checking out the reviews of the product you want to purchase - or the seller you wish to buy from - and checking that there is a way to contact the seller offline.
To support the work of the NTS Safety at Ports & Borders teams, more funding is being channelled to the teams following a grant from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
Products detained by NTS Safety at Ports and Borders teams include: Between July - November 2014, 64% of LED lightbulbs tested across various UK border points were found to be unsafe or noncompliant
In Coventry, parcels containing 397 home tooth whitening kits that contained 61 times the permitted amount of hydrogen peroxide were detained
Nearly 1,000 chainsaws imported from China were seized and shown to have a number of crucial faults, including brakes that did not work when the engine was running and a 'kill switch' which did not stop the engine immediately
20 unsafe children's scooters were detained by teams in Suffolk, as well as aquarium lights, electrical chargers, black henna and skateboards
Since April 2013, 9,809 carcinogenic skin lightening creams have been intercepted at Tilbury and Gateway ports
Between April - December 2014, 670,891 cosmetic products including shampoo, skin whitening cream, soap, skin lightening oil, henna products, body lotion and face cream were identified at UK border points as unsafe or noncompliant.