New Law Limits Aspects Of Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
How can you tell if a specific product that you use is safe? Is there a watchdog that oversees any potential danger in products that you may buy every day? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the government agency responsible for overseeing product safety and issuing any recalls if necessary. However, the CPSC does face criticisms from manufacturers and businesses regarding its safety requirements. Responding to those businesses, Congress passed a bill limiting some aspects of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was passed in 2008 and protects consumers from numerous safety hazards.
President Obama signed into law a proposal to limit the authority of the CPSC on consumer safety oversight. Among other amendments, children’s products and toys manufactured after August 2011 must now comply with new lead content limits, but anything manufactured prior is exempt. The CPSC had maintained that prior manufactured products should also comply with the lead ban limits.
The CPSC’s Complaint Website
The new legislation also amends who can post to the CPSC website SaferProducts.gov. This website was established in 2011 and allows consumers to post about dangerous products. The bill amended the 2008 Act to restrict how consumers can submit reports to the database, improve how products are identified and resolve claims that reports are inaccurate.
The CPSC and consumer groups say that the database is needed so consumers can be well-aware of product-related injuries and deaths before the government can initiate a recall. However, critics say the database could be abused by people with vendettas against companies, and the proposal would allow complaints only by consumers who were harmed or nearly harmed.
Other changes to the CPSC include:
- An exemption for lead in certain children’s products and components if it is not practicable or technologically feasible to make that item without lead
- The CPSC must look at ways to grant relief from third-party testing requirements for compliance with lead limits
- Exclusion of parts inaccessible to the child, such as interior components, from limits on certain chemicals
- Ability for the CPSC to exclude specific products from mandates on tracking labels, which was designed to help consumers identify whether a children’s product is within the scope of a recall
Unfortunately, unsafe products continue to injure unsuspecting consumers. If you have been injured by an unsafe product, contact an accident compensation attorney knowledgeable about product liability issues. While you can’t undo the harm already done, you can hold those who made the product accountable and get help with recovery.
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To discuss a defective product case with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr., by calling 866-583-9564. We have offices in Los Angeles, Monrovia, West Covina and Palm Desert.