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17/10/2018

Stay Safe This Halloween

With Halloween just two weeks away many children will be excited at the prospect of playing fancy dress and going ‘Trick or Treating'.   However Wiltshire Trading Standards are warning parents and carers to be on their guard for fake fancy dress costumes that don't meet the flammability requirements of toy safety standards.

Whilst costumes supplied by reputable retailers will have undergone testing to ensure they meet safety standards the same can't always be said for many brought from sellers based outside the EU and especially those that are counterfeit.

If you're buying fancy dress costumes always check that they bear a CE mark as this represents a declaration from the manufacturer that they meet safety standards.  Following recent publicity in this area some manufacturers are going further and testing their costumes to even more stringent standards if this is the case the product will probably be marked as such.  Finally it's vitally important to consider from whom you're buying the costume.  If you're buying online do you know who you're dealing with?  Are they based in the UK, Europe or further afield?  If the costume is being sold by someone thousands of miles away can you be sure it's safe and what will happen if things go wrong?

In the lead up to Halloween our trading standards officers are busy testing the safety of fancy dress costumes for sale in Wiltshire and will be taking action to remove from the market any unsafe costumes they discover.  We would urge parents to ensure you only buy children's fancy dress costumes from reputable sellers that have been manufactured to a high safety standard.  Obviously flammable fancy dress costumes and naked flames can be a lethal combination so as well as taking care with the outfit maybe consider using LED lights instead of candles in your pumpkins?

If you're concerned about the safety of a fancy dress costume or any other consumer product let Trading Standards know by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454040506.


Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic found in a variety of cosmetics such as bath bombs and body scrubs. A 2016 report from Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee found that a single shower using a microbead containing body scrub can result in as many as 100,000 microbeads being flushed down the drain and ultimately into the sea. The beads can be eaten by fish and other marine life introducing potentially toxic substances into the food chain. 

Following the ban on the manufacture of "rinse-off" personal care products containing microbeads in January this year, a ban on the sale of these products comes into force on 19th June.  Before the ban it was estimated that over 680 tonnes of microbeads were being used each year in the UK alone.

Further information on the ban can be found on the businesscompanion website and it should be noted that it only applies to plastic beads that are water-insoluble and less than or equal to 5mm in any dimension.  It's not easy to tell by sight or touch whether a product contains microbeads so check the list of ingredients for the words polyethylene, polypropylene and polymethylmethacrylate - the chemical names for plastics.  Nylon may also be listed as well as the abbreviations PET, PTFE and PMMA.

If you're concerned that a product you've purchased since 19th June 2018 contains microbeads report the matter to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.

Wiltshire businesses that manufacture, import or supply cosmetic products and would like further advice on this, or any other Trading Standards matter, should email tradingstandards@wiltshire.gov.uk.


Environmental Audit Committee - Environmental Impact of Microplastics Inquiry

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Andrew Norris sole director of R&L Cars Ltd of Seend, Wiltshire yesterday pleaded guilty to three offences under the Fraud Act, including the creation of a fake service log book.  Magistrates ordered Mr Norris to pay £6079 following the prosecution brought by Wiltshire Council Trading Standards.  If you're suspicious about the history of a vehicle you've purchased call 03454040506 to get advice on your consumer rights and to report the matter to Trading Standards.

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Grafton Merchanting Ltd (Oxford based company) was prosecuted on 3rd April at Swindon Magistrates for breaching  the Westbury (Station Road ) weight restriction order.

The company was fined £800 and ordered to pay  £200  costs to Wiltshire Council plus  £80 victim surcharge.

The company was previously prosecuted for breaching the  Bradford on Avon weight restriction order.

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Last updated: 17 October 2018 | Last reviewed: 17 October 2018