eBay continues to sell unsafe Black Spot Carbon Monoxide detectors

UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, the APPCOG has received a positive response from eBay. eBay will no longer allow 'Black Spot' or 'Patch' Carbon Monoxide Detectors to be purchased from their website. Please see the updated article.

A letter signed by APPCOG Co-Chairs Barry Sheerman MP and Baroness Finlay, in addition to five parliamentary officers of the APPCOG, has been sent to eBay, urging them to remove all ‘black spot’ and ‘patch indicator’ carbon monoxide detectors from sale on their sites.

The APPCOG has always been clear that Black Spot Patch Carbon Monoxide Detectors do not offer adequate protection from the risks of CO exposure. These devices make no sound or alerting indication, so they cannot protect residents from CO leaks, as a sleeping person would not be woken if the detector was triggered. In fact, even a waking resident may fail to notice that the patch had changed colour for many days, unless they made a point of checking regularly.

After contact from stakeholders the Katie Haines Memorial Foundation, Amazon have responded quickly, and you will see that patch carbon monoxide detectors are no longer sold from their platform. The APPCOG is disappointed that eBay has not responded to Barry Sheerman MP’s emails, let alone taken affirmative action:

“I am very concerned that eBay has failed to acknowledge any of the APPCOG’s attempts to raise this important safety issue, despite having received several emails. It seems that eBay is unconcerned by the damage that can be caused from sale of these dangerous devices, which do not protect people from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.”

eBay’s Product Safety Policy states products that pose a health or safety hazard are not allowed to be sold to consumers.  Unfortunately, the continued sale of ‘black spot’ and ‘patch indicator’ carbon monoxide detectors is posing a risk to consumers.

This issue is even more pressing as the MHCLG plans to expand the requirements for CO alarms, meaning that landlords may use patch detectors in order to comply with legislation, giving tenants a false sense of security.  eBay must follow Amazon’s lead, and act now to protect consumers.