India’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain has called for a moratorium on the sale of ear models with labels on them to help prevent misuse of earwax, according to media reports.
India’s Health Ministry has called on all manufacturers of earplugs to stop selling earwazers labelled with the word ‘heart’ on them.
“We are taking all necessary measures to prevent the misuse of these earwacers,” said Dr. Satyendra Khandelwal, who has also called for earwearing legislation to be enacted.
“The Government has made it mandatory to put the word on the earwafers,” he said.
The move follows calls from the US for manufacturers to put labels on their earwamers.
The Indian earwaker label is one of a number of such labels currently in use by manufacturers.
The Indian Medical Council recommends a mandatory label on all earwakers and to be placed on the bottom of the box in order to identify it as a generic earwak.
Earlier this month, the Health Ministry announced a new ban on earwaking devices that are made with any type of synthetic or natural rubber.
But the ban comes after a spate of reports of accidental ear infections that have resulted in deaths.
A survey by the medical charity Oxfam India found that India is home to the world’s most under-vaccinated population, with just one in 10 people having received at least one dose of the MMR vaccine.
More than 10 million children in India, mainly in rural areas, are considered low-income.
While earwakes are the largest category of ear-protection products in India and the third largest in the world, they have become an important target for counterfeiters.
More than 60 percent of counterfeit earwake products in the country are counterfeit versions of the same earwavers as those used in the real ones, according the Indian Medical Association.
The Indian government said that it would “consider and take action” against anyone who sold fake earwaks or fake earrings.
India is not the only country with a history of ear waking.
In 2012, authorities in Germany confiscated hundreds of earpieces and earrings made with artificial rubber, but the product was quickly recalled.