Review of the mandatory safety standard for balloon blowing kits

Closed 24 Feb 2017

Opened 7 Dec 2016


The ACCC invites you to have your say on the issues and policy options in the consultation paper on the review of the mandatory safety standard for balloon blowing kits. The issues in this paper have been briefly summarised below, please refer to the document for further details.

The ACCC prefers submissions to be provided via the ACCC consultation hub.

Alternatively, interested parties can email submissions to

Submissions can also be made via post to:

Standards & Policy
Consumer Product Safety Branch
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
GPO Box 3131

Submissions will be published on the ACCC website at the end of the consultation period.

Please note any information that you believe to be of a confidential nature should be clearly marked or identified as confidential. The ACCC will not disclose the confidential information to third parties, other than advisors or consultants engaged directly by the ACCC, without first providing you with notice of its intention to do so, such as where it is compelled to do so by law.

Why your views matter

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is reviewing the mandatory safety standard for balloon blowing kits.

The purpose of this review is to assess whether the mandatory safety standard remains effective and whether there are more efficient ways of achieving the same level of safety.


Balloon blowing kits covered by this regulation contain a glue-like substance used to make balloons when a consumer, often a child, blows into a pipe or tube to create and then inflate a balloon.

The current mandatory safety standard came into effect in 1979 and requires that the substance contained in balloon blowing kits does not contain benzene.

Benzene is a known carcinogen that increases the risk of leukaemia and other illnesses leading to bone marrow failure.

There are no known reported deaths or injuries associated with exposure to benzene from balloon blowing kits.

Policy options

The ACCC is considering three policy options as part of the review of the current mandatory safety standard:

Option 1:

Keep the current mandatory safety standard (status quo: no benzene)

Option 2: 

Set a maximum benzene level of 5 parts per million (same as Europe)

Option 3: 

Revoke the mandatory safety standard.

The ACCC is currently of the view that, on balance, setting a maximum level of benzene at 5 parts per million (Option 2) is the most appropriate option.

Your submissions to this consultation will help us to test our preliminary position and to recommend the most appropriate option to the Minister.


  • Anyone from any background


  • Product Safety