Posts Tagged: Consumer Product Safety Commission

That old saw about business opposing regulation

In a radio story that would be just perfect on television, NPR’s Chris Arnold explores the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s decision to draft new safety regulations for table saws. Table saws injure more than 4000 people per year — meaning fingers and even hands getting cut off. Now an inventor has come up with a great new way to stop saw blades within 5/1000 of a second that they come into contact with human skin. It’s a great idea, and a great example of American ingenuity. But predictably, as Arnold reports, the power saw industry is opposing the CPSC’s decision to “a new regulation package which is likely to be released for public comment by the end of September.”

CPSC consumer-driven database goes public, but faces uncertain future

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new on-line database,, which allows consumers to post “reports” about defective products went into operation March 11th, and the first postings are now available to the public (as of April 1st).  But some members of Congress are still trying to shut it down.

Freshman legislator Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas), an ardent budget-buster, authored an amendment to the 2011 budget bill to de-fund the database, and he continues to call for its demise.  The cost of creating the database came to $3 million out of the CPSC’s $29 million budget for upgrading its entire information technology operation. (more…)

Crib deaths and the progress of CPSC

The Chicago Tribune’s Ellen Gabler comes down hard on the Consumer Product Safety Commission for apparently not investigating 17 deaths over the last 20 years that have involved crib bumper pads. Gabler shows serious flaws and limitations with CPSC, but her reporting requires more context as to where the agency is and where it’s going.

Gabler finds that there are seventeen cases in CPSC reports where a crib bumper pad was involved in a child’s death, but the death wasn’t fully investigated. This lack of information, Gabler reports, is particularly glaring since CPSC is considering banning the bumper pads. (more…)

Monday: Big news day for consumer safety

The public affairs officers at the Consumer Product Safety Commission must have had a busy weekend.  The CPSC has news on two initiatives today, both of them ambitious and both potentially game-changing in the sphere of product safety.  First, as Lyndsey Layton reports in the Washington Post, CPSC has formally announced plans to open up a public online database of safety complaints Americans submit about products they have purchased.  (more…)

On poisonous drywall, Chinese companies stonewall CPSC

Consumer Product Safety Commission officials trying to find out the true source of hazardous materials, including sulfur, in drywall imported from China (a problem we’ve reported on previously) were subject to misinformation, disinformation, and just plain intimidation when they tried to find out where Chinese drywall might have been contaminated.  That story emerges in almost “handheld documentary” fashion in reporting from Joaquin Sapien and Aaron Kessler (of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune)  in ProPublica.  Their story shows why the U.S. government is going to have to be very creative if it wants to track hazardous products back to their source in today’s globalized economy.  (more…)

Toying with toymakers at the CPSC?

Any government reform is going to take time and effort, and the expansion of the Consumer Products Safety Commission to make sure unsafe products stay off store shelves is no exception.  When we most recently looked into the CPSC’s problems (before its 2008 revamping), it was clear that the independent agency was underfunded and understaffed, and that manufacturers were able to push their own agendas, often at the expense of the public safety. (more…)

CPSC tries to get rid of faulty cribs

The Chicago Tribune’s Patricia Callahan reports that the Consumer Product Safety Commission yesterday recalled 2 million “drop-side” cribs from the market — a type of crib estimated to have killed between 32 and 46 children. (more…)

Toy gun control

Patricia Callahan and Jared S. Hopkins of the Chicago Tribune have a good follow-up story about the Consumer Product Safety Commission persuading Family Dollar Stores Inc. to recall toy guns that shoot inch-long darts. (more…)

A testy toy recall

In 2007, a nine year-old Chicago boy died from inhaling a one-inch dart that was part of his toy gun.  Today the Consumer Product Safety Commission has finally reached an agreement with Family Dollar Stores Inc. to stop selling the “Auto Fire” toy. (more…)

Measuring Progresss at The Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe looks at the Consumer Product Safety Commission one year after Congress granted CPSC more money and power to set product safety standards. O’Keefe reports that recalls of dangerous products are down slightly this year compared to last year. That’s good to know — but what is it supposed to mean? It could mean that the agency is less aggressive now about recalling unsafe toys, furniture and gagdets — or it could mean, more encouragingly, that manufacturers are making fewer dangerous products.

One way to solve this riddle is the implementation of a national, public database that records product-related incidents, injuries and deaths. This was a centerpiece of Congress’s overhaul of CPSC — O’Keefe only reports that the agency is putting the “finishing touches” on the database.