October 27th marked the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Established in 1972 by the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the CPSC’s mission is to protect us from unsafe consumer products. The CPSC has purview over 15,000 different product types.
The independent agency protects consumers by issuing recalls, researching potential hazards, developing safety standards and other business guidance, and informing the public about product safety hazards. When KID was founded, there were no requirements that children’s products be tested for safety by independent laboratories – leading to dangerous products on the market and in our homes.
That changed after the landmark legislation, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, was passed in 2008. The CPSC responded with new standards created under “Danny’s Law” and other actions to improve safety:
In 2011, the toughest crib standard went into effect making cribs more durable and safer than they have ever been.
The CPSC created the public database gov to give consumers a way to report any dangerous products in their homes, and also to search for any incidents associated with products.
In 2013 the CPSC mandated federal safety standards for play yards that had taken dozens of children’s lives due to strangulation and entrapment.
In response to dangerous sleep products on the market, the CPSC developed the first broad standard for sleep products and the rule went into effect this year mandating that all products marketed or intended for infant sleep must meet strong safety standards.
And just last week, the CPSC passed a federal standard for clothing storage units to prevent tip-overs.
And many more.
A key part of KID’s mission is to monitor and work with the CPSC to keep children safe. We thank the agency and its dedicated staff and commissioners for their hard work. We urge policymakers to ensure adequate funding for the CPSC so that it can fulfill its mission to protect our families.