Our wish list for the new CPSC

Consumer Reports News: August 26, 2009 03:36 PM

Yesterday, I testified at a hearing on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's agenda, priorities, and strategic plan. Presiding over the hearing were all five commissioners, including the new chair, Inez Tenenbaum. This is the first time in many years that five commissioners have filled the bench. 
Speaking on behalf of Consumers Union, here are some of the comments and suggestions that I made to the Commission:

Import safety.  We believe that more has to be done to stop unsafe products from crossing our borders, rather than relying on after-the-fact recalls to alert consumers that they are in harm’s way. We asked for a more robust import-surveillance system at U.S. ports. Read more ...

All terrain vehicles.  We support testing ATVs to better understand design-related safety risks, with the objective of eliminating hazardous designs and reducing the disturbingly high injury and fatality rates. Read more ...

Cooking fires.  We asked the Commission to renew their previous efforts to reduce the number of cooking fires through pre-ignition or fire-sensing technology. Read more ...

Carbon monoxide.  We support the Commission’s goal for reducing CO poisoning by assessing life-saving automatic shut-off systems for portable generators and other fuel-fired products. Read more ...
Children’s hazards.  We support the CPSC’s efforts to reduce injuries to children from emerging hazards, especially those associated with toys, nursery products (cribs and the like), and swimming pools.  We asked them to focus on reducing risks and product-related injuries disproportionately experienced by minority children. Read more ...

Pool and spa safety.  We asked the Commission to study the acute risk of drowning associated with inflatable swimming pools and to develop a strategy for reducing that risk. Read more ...

Furniture safety. We support the Commission's efforts to reduce injuries and death from furniture tip overs.  We also asked them to address the egregious number of preventable injuries related to glass tablesRead more ...

Nanomaterials. We strongly support the CPSC’s study of possible negative health affects associated with nanomaterials in consumer products, especially for products where nanoparticles come in contact with the skin or can be inhaled.  Read more ...

Consumer outreach.  We support any effort that the CPSC can make to enhance the effectiveness of product safety recalls and find better ways to communicate safety alerts to the public. —Don Mays

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