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Gina Mercier is Bitrex Business Manager. Continuing the transatlantic theme, she is just back from a working trip to America.
The jet-lag, the strange rooms, the eating at funny times, I know, I know, no one has any sympathy for the gruelling business of business trips. And to be honest, you have to be suspicious of people who make too much of how simultaneously boring and frightful it all is. They protest just a bit too much. Because who doesn’t love meeting new people and fi nding out about what their work and their lives are like. In the USA I’m always impressed by both the differences and the similarities with our culture. What has struck me is the degree to which the whole issue of child safety in the home is very much on the agenda. Manufacturers, government agencies, lobbying groups have all been more active in highlighting the issue. The focus has initially been on laundry tabs or single dose pods as they are called here, but the debate has recognised that these aren’t the only hazards in the home. There’s no point in just focussing on one product and ignoring, and possibly becoming complacent about, all the others. It is the way change happens. Work away for years and then suddenly everyone is talking about it.
Closer to home, there are real signs that the dangers to children in the home are being given the attention they deserve in Europe too. The OECD and the European Commission have come together to devise a pan- European campaign to raise awareness of the danger of laundry products. Alongside Ariel’s recent TV advert in the UK it’s a real sign of the issue on the agenda on this side of the Atlantic too. ROSPA too is launching a campaign. This won’t suddenly protect children overnight, but it’s all a step in the right direction. And worth a bit of travel to find out.