Warning on potentially deadly "energy saving wire mesh" - CHOICE #
382 (August 15, 2008)
Consumers are alerted to a highly hazardous product that claims
to cut down on fuel consumption, by up to 30%, of gas stoves.
At a time of high fuel costs, such claim will no doubt impact
significantly on an unwary consumer public.
The Consumer Council, in collaboration with the Electrical and
Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), has conducted a test on the
product called "energy saving wire mesh".
The results are nothing short of shocking to its users who will,
without their knowledge, be exposing themselves to the danger of
carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
It was found that the use of the wire mesh when placed under the
stove pan support spikes, can increase the concentration of the
highly lethal CO gas by more than 40 folds in a matter of a few
The CO level was more than 7 times in excess of the safety
standard under the Hong Kong Domestic Gas Appliances Basic Safety
Depending on the concentration and speed of emission, the size
of the kitchen and ventilation, carbon monoxide can cause headache,
dizziness and nausea - and even death.
As the CO concentration kept rising during the test, for safety
reasons the test had to be terminated.
Users are warned to immediately cease using the wire mesh or any
similar products to avoid potential tragedy.
They should always consult the appliance agent whenever they
intend to buy an accessory for the gas appliance.
Consumers are also urged to report the sales of the wire mesh or
similar products in the market to the Customs and Excise
Department, the EMSD or the Consumer Council.
The marketing of such claimed energy saving device is not the
first time, nor will it be the last. In 1997, the Consumer Council
issued a similar severe warning to consumers on a similarly
dangerous "energy saving wire net" for gas burner.
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