NATION

No Comment Over Under-Fire Windscreen Rain Repellent

The managing director of Colormarket Limited, Harun Hussain has declined to comment on claims by the Consumer Council of Fiji about a product distributed by his company. The Fiji Sun
14 Nov 2015 10:30
No Comment Over Under-Fire Windscreen Rain Repellent
Ajesh Chand (left) and Erwin Karl Skiba claims they suffered skin burn following the use of anti-rain product purchased from local spare part dealer at consumer Council yesterday. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

The managing director of Colormarket Limited, Harun Hussain has declined to comment on claims by the Consumer Council of Fiji about a product distributed by his company.

The Fiji Sun visited Mr Hussein to seek his comments after the Consumer Council held a press conference on the matter.

Council chief executive officer Premila Kumar says that after receiving complaints, the Council has written to Mr Hussain.

Ms Kumar said Mr Hussain responded saying it was a household cleaning item. Ms Kumar said they would write to the Commerce Commission for further action to be taken.

The Council is now warning consumers against the use of the product called Anti-Rain. It is a rain and fog repellent chemical for vehicle windscreen and windows.

The product improves visibility in rain, repels water from the windscreen, prevents fogging and misting of glass and mirrors to help visibility for drivers during rain and misty conditions.

The council said three complaints had been received from customers of the product.

Ms Kumar said: “Three people have suffered skin burns, swellings, nasty blisters and laceration occurring on their fingers after using this product to clean their vehicles.

“This is disturbing to the Council because consumers’ health and safety is at stake,”  she said.

Ms Kumar said the product, which was packed in a substandard looking spray bottle, did not have proper labelling and there was no proper disclosure of information from its distributor, Colormarket Limited. “The burns have caused the complainants sleepless nights, extreme mental discomfort, financial loss, high medical bills and inability to do any work,” she said.

One of the complainants; Navua taxi driver, Ajesh Chand and his wife used the Anti-Rain to clean the windscreen of their vehicle by using a piece of cloth sprayed with the chemical.

He claimed they suffered from burns, swelling and cuts on their fingers after using the product.

Another complainant, Nan Feng Industrial (Fiji) Company Limited project manager, Erwin Skiba said he bought the product after a Colormarket staff demonstrated its use.

“He informed me not to spray the chemical on the glass because it would eat away the paint,” he said.

In both cases the complainants were advised to pour a small amount of the chemical on a piece of cloth and wipe the rain marks on the windscreen.

Mr Skiba said the Colormarket staff did not wear protective gloves during the demonstration.

He said he followed the verbal instructions given to him during the demonstration, but his fingers suffered burns after using the product.

“The person who is responsible for the injuries has shown no regret and keeps denying it,” Mr Skiba said.

“I have been out of work because of my injuries and this is my fifth week and I am still recovering.”

Mr Skiba also showed a medical report which states: “Patient has been assessed as having second degree chemical burns on both thumbs and index finger while the other fingerprints was assessed as having first degree chemical burns.”

Mr Skiba also took the product for a lab test at the Institute of Applied Science at the University of the South Pacific (USP).

He claimed the sample of Anti-Rain showed a high amount of sulfuric acid which can cause very severe burns, especially when it is at high concentration.

The chemical even corroded the metal when Mr Skiba tested on it and he will also pursue this matter in court. The complainants said they bought the product at $35 per bottle from the company at Samabula, Suva.

Feedback: shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj



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