Cpsc Gets Overhaul Defective Products
CPSC Gets Long Overdue Overhaul
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is getting a long overdue overhaul with the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Both houses of Congress have allegedly agreed to the terms of the Act and its passage is likely.
CPSC had been ignored
According to its website, www.cpsc.gov, the CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. These include toys, all terrain vehicles (ATVs), power tools, household chemicals and many more products that may pose dangers to consumers.
However, it had been many years since anyone paid attention to the CPSC – until lead paint started showing up in children’s toys that were manufactured in China. Even some of the CPSC’s own employees complained about not being given the proper resources to get their jobs done. All of that is about to change with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
What the Act will do
Key provisions of the bill include tougher safety standards for 12 categories of juvenile products and requirements that manufacturers include product registration cards so that consumers can more easily be reached in the event of a recall. The Commission will also be given more resources, a bigger budget, a new laboratory and computer system to effectively protect consumers from unsafe goods.
These changes will allow the CPSC to:
Establish a publicly-accessible database to help consumers report and learn about the hazards posed by unsafe products;
Create safety standards for ATVs;
Eliminate lead from all children’s products;
Change the toy safety standard for which compliance has been voluntary. This will become mandatory and protect children from hazards not currently covered in federal regulation. Safety testing on toys and children’s products will also be required by independent laboratories before they are sold.
The changes will also allow the CPSC to go after manufacturers who do not comply with the rules as the limit on civil penalties that the CPSC can levy on wrongdoers has been significantly increased. It will also give each state’s Attorney General the necessary authority to enforce products safety laws.
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