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Leading Home Improvement retailers sign-up to acid ban

Wckes Watford new store

Some of the UK's largest Home Improvement retailers including Wickes, B&Q and Screwfix have signed up to a new voluntary government plan aimed at preventing the growing number of acid attacks. Last year saw an alarming rise in the number of attacks taking place in the UK - with London seeing a particularly severe spike.

The UK now has one of the highest number of recorded acid attacks per person of any country in the world, and the figure is expected to rise further, police have warned.

Sales of products containing dangerous levels of acids and corrosive substances have now been banned for under 18's and the Government has issued a list of commitments for retailers, including a new requirement to check the age of buyers both in store and online.

Under the ban, which at this stage is not legally binding, prevents the sale of the following products to anyone under 18 years of age:-

  • All products that contain 12%+ sodium hydroxide, such as drain cleaners and paint strippers.
  • All liquids with 10%+ hydrochloric acid, including brick and patio cleaners.
  • All products containing 10%+ of ammonium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite, including many household cleaning products.

As part of the code, retail stores are also being recommended to comply with the Poisons Act and promote awareness to store staff.

The Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins, said: "Acid attacks have a devastating impact on their victims, leaving both emotional and physical scars. I'm pleased that so many of the UK's major retailers are joining our fight to combat this scourge and signalling they are committed to selling acids responsibly."

The Home Office says it is consulting on plans to make it illegal for under-18s to get hold of acids and an offence to carry such substances in public without good reason.

Source: Insight DIY Team

08 January 2018

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