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Consumer Product Safety

In August 2008, an overwhelmingly bipartisan Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which was then signed into law by the president. The law represented a much-needed sea change for product safety. It requires that toys and infant products be tested before they are sold, bans the toxic substances lead and phthalates from children’s products, and creates a comprehensive publicly accessible consumer complaint database. The law also gives the oversight Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) the resources it needs to protect the public and fix the broken product safety net.

Congress passed this landmark law because children had been hurt, become sick, or even died from unsafe products put in their hands. Many millions of products were recalled, shaking the confidence of parents in the safety of the toys and juvenile products currently on the market. The year 2007 was known as the year of the recall. Defective and dangerous products – from lead-painted toys to vacuum cleaners that catch fire – were allowed onto our store shelves and into our homes. The under-resourced CPSC had failed to do its job and protect American consumers. So we mobilized as a citizenry and scored big wins for consumer product safety, winning our biggest victory when the CPSIA was signed into law.

Since its passage, however, the CPSIA has been met with some resistance and criticism by industry representatives and lobbyists who are loathe to comply with the new requirements. We continue to fight for the safety of consumer products by closely monitoring Congress and the CPSC to ensure the full and complete implementation of the new law.

More Resources on Consumer Product Safety