PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

HOUSE OF COMMONS

OFFICIAL REPORT

Second Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.

DRAFT CHILD RESISTANT PACKAGING (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1986

Wednesday 16 April 1986

LONDON

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1

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chairman: Mr. Nicholas Winterton

Ashdown, Mr. Paddy (Yeovil)

Brown, Mr. Gordon (Dunfermline, East)

Faulds, Mr. Andrew (Warley, East)

Fields, Mr. Terry (Liverpool, Broadgreen)

Fox, Mr. Marcus (Shipley)

Garel-Jones, Mr. Tristan (Watford)

Garrett, Mr. Ted (Wallsend)

Griffiths, Mr. Peter (Portsmouth, North)

Hannam, Mr. John (Exeter)

Hayward, Mr. Rob (Kingswood)

Howard, Mr. Michael (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry)

Howarth, Mr. Gerald (Cannock and Burntwood)

Hoyle, Mr. Doug (Warrington, North)

Jones, Mr. Robert B. (Hertfordshire, West)

Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine (Lancaster)

Kilroy-Silk, Mr. Robert (Knowsley, North)

Whitfield, Mr. John (Dewsbury)

Wolfson, Mr. Mark (Sevenoaks)

Mr. A. E Doherty, Committee Clerk

2
3 Second Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c. Wednesday 16 April 1986

[MR. NICHOLAS WINTERTON in the Chair]

Draft Child Resistant Packaging (Safety) Regulations 1986

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Committee has considered the draft Child Resistant Packaging (Safety) Regulations 1986.—[Mr. Howard.]

10.30 am

Mr. Peter Griffiths (Portsmouth, North): I should like an assurance from my hon. Friend the Minister about the substances from which child packaging seals are made. As the parent of inquisitive children who survived their childhood, I know that child-proof packages have proved successful. There are two ways in which small children tend to approach sealed packages that they cannot open readily. One is to batter them furiously on the nearest hard object. I should like an assurance that the regulations will ensure that the substances from which packaging and sealing locks are made will not splinter or crack to form sharp edges. The other way in which children tend to approach such packages is to chew the offending item to assuage their anger. I should like an assurance that the substances used to make child-proof packages or seals will not be toxic or dangerous. If the seal is covered or has a tear-off rim, it too must not be toxic or dangerous. Although I welcome the regulations, I should still like an assurance that there will be no further danger to a child who is unhappy at being unable to open a 4 package, and who then tries to open it as I have outlined.

10.32 am

Mrs. Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster): I should like an assurance on a slightly different matter. I vividly recall an occasion in the House about seven years ago when one of my hon. Friends had a child-proof container which he and half a dozen colleagues were unable to open. When he got home that evening, his five-year-old child said, "I can do it daddy. They showed us how on television." I should like an assurance from my hon. Friend the Minister that they will not show children how on television.

10.33 am

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. Michael Howard): I am grateful to my hon Friends for raising those important matters. Concerning the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, North (Mr. Griffiths), it is unlikely that closures will be made from hazardous materials. The British Standards Institution will check the materials to ensure that they are not hazardous. I hope that that will achieve the objective to which he rightly attaches such importance. I find it more difficult to give my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mrs. Kellett-Bowman) the assurance for which she asked. Programmes put out by the television authorities are outside the scope of the regulations. However, I take her point and I shall see what can be done to draw that important point to their attention.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved. That the Committee has considered the draft Child Resistant Packaging (Safety) Regulations 1986.

Committee rose at twenty-six minutes to Eleven o'clock.

THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

Winterton, Mr. Nicholas (Chairman)

Garel-Jones, Mr.

Griffiths, Mr. Peter

Hayward, Mr.

Howard, Mr. Michael

Kellett-Bowman, Mrs.