Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Government to Put Product Safety Info Online

[Thank you Research Buzz!]

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) already informs the public about product safety through various means as product recalls.

As mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), it is currently working on making critical product safety information freely and quickly available to members of the public.

Saferproducts.gov will debut in March 2011. This database will share more information about dangerous products than in the past. It will be easily searchable and will allow consumers both to report problems with products and to research safety records for them.

(A presentation for CPSC employees on Saferproducts.gov may be found here)

According to a November 24, 2010 CPSA statement, Saferproducts.gov will include these elements

• The Database will function as an early warning system for dangerous and potentially dangerous products

by allowing members of the public to share information regarding product hazards as quickly as it is

available. This is a dramatic and positive change from the current system (under 15 U.S.C. §

2055(b)―commonly known as “section 6(b) procedure”), where the Commission is required to consult

with manufacturers before warning the public about critical product safety hazards, and seek their

approval before releasing the name of the potentially dangerous item.

• The Database will allow the CPSC to fully effectuate one of its core purposes: to assist consumers in

evaluating the comparative safety of consumer products. Until now, while the Commission has compiled

data from many sources, including consumers, hospital emergency rooms, coroners’ offices, and the

media, it has been statutorily constrained in its ability to release this information to the public in a timely

fashion.

• Finally, the Database will enable the CPSC to effectively protect the public through the use of modern

technology. The CPSC is a hard-working, but very small independent agency, with jurisdiction over

thousands of product categories. While we have always collected safety data from multiple sources, the

data often has been siloed and difficult to unify. The Database is the public centerpiece of a

comprehensive, agency-wide undertaking that will result in a single, integrated, web-based environment,

allowing us to merge these systems, thereby significantly expanding the Commission’s effectiveness.

Accordingly, the Database will provide the public with access to consumer product safety information

and simultaneously enhance the CPSC’s ability to monitor the safety of products in the marketplace.

Click here for a related November 30th Kiplinger Letter article by Laura Kennedy. It outlines manufacturer concerns as well as the capabilities of Saferproducts.gov.

December 7, 2010 - Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , ,

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