The European Commission has reported a boom in the number of notifications of potentially unsafe European Union (EU) consumer warnings, withdrawals and sales bans of clothing and textiles.

In its 2009 annual report of the EU’s RAPEX consumer warning network, it said there were 395 such notifications for textiles and clothing last year in all member states, compared to 140 in 2008.

In 2008, only 9% of notifications were for clothing and textiles; in 2009, it was 23%. These warnings usually focus on banned finishing chemicals or choking/strangulation hazards.

The report noted this “significant increase” was caused partly by increased surveillance of textiles and shoes for the anti-mould treatment DMF, which became controlled by commission decision 2009/251/EC last year. Also, there were special checks on cords and drawstrings in children’s clothing.

The report said the results proved “risk-focused EU level measures and joint prioritisation of certain types of products in surveillance [was successful in] finding dangerous products…”