Consumer Product Safety

Accident Information Special News14 (Ear Candles)

September 30, 1997

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Ministry of Health and Welfare publicly announced the onset of the external auditory meatus failure, etc. caused by "Ear Care Goods".

Three accident cases where the users became hard to hear were reported to the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation and approximately 30 cases were reported from the otolaryyngologists to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Because the "Ear Care Goods" became popular, the sufferers were increased on the nationwide scale, and it was considered that a considerable amount of appropriate articles were sold so that we decided to release the following contents.

1. Outline

The so-called "Ear Care Goods" product which has a cylindrical shape of the length about 10cm is so used that one end is lit and combusted, while the other end is inserted into the ear, however, with the combustion, generated wax, etc. intrudes into the external auditory meatus to cause pain, itch, and health damage such as the otitis externa and the myringitis.

Because the "Ear Care Goods" became popular, it is feared the use may expand the same kinds of cases.

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2. Details

A plurality of doctors of the otorhinology and consumer centers reported that persons using the so-called "Ear Care Goods" product for the purpose of removing the earwax were suffered from the otitis externa due to the foreign body intruding into the external auditory meatus.

Taking account of the using situation of the appropriate products, the NITE determined it necessary to release the information collected to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Health and Welfare so as to call attentions to the users.

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3. Attentions

Taking every information collected to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Health and Welfare so far into consideration, the users should attend the following matters in the appropriate products.

  1. (1)It was reported that, by the use of the so-called "Ear Care Goods" product, the wax, etc. originated in the product intruded into the external auditory meatus so as to cause pain, itch, the otitis externa and the myringitis.
  2. (2)It was not desirable especially for persons having diseases such as the otitis externa and the otitis media and persons who are apt to cause abnormality in the skin of the ear.
  3. (3)If you feel something abnormal by the use of the product, immediately consult a doctor in a medical institution.

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4. Future Measures

The NITE planned to perform further field surveys and article tests in future.

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Reference

There are many types among the so-called "Ear Care Goods" products such as AURISAN, EAR MAGIC, Oto Plus, OTOASPIR, OTOSAN, OTO cone, Mimi can (all made in Italy), Ear Candles (made in Canada), OTTAMAGATION (Taiwan), and Ear Trim (made in Japanese).

However, it was reported that not all of these articles caused the health damage.

Contact us

 Risk Analysis and Public Relations Division  Product Safety Technology Center  National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Phone number:+81-6-6612-2066
Fax number:+81-6-6612-1617
Address:1-22-16, Nankokita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 559-0034 Japan MAP