U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today said he is looking forward to the official launch of a database that allows consumers to report product safety hazards online. The database is a major ingredient of a sweeping consumer protection law that Pryor championed to keep toxic toys and other dangerous products out of our homes.
Pryor said the database provides a simple way for consumers to report risks associated with consumer products. This information will allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to more efficiently identify trends and problems with a hazardous product. The database requires consumers to fill out 8 specific fields and allows the manufacturer to respond to a reported problem.
"Children have died because the public has been kept in the dark about faulty cribs, toys, and other everyday products," Pryor said. "This database provides transparency, allowing our consumer watchdog agency to more effectively identify problems, alert the public and get dangerous products off the shelves."
Product recalls, injuries and fatalities have been significantly reduced since the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, P.L.110-314, was signed into law in 2008. Among its provisions, the law provides the CPSC with new resources and authority, requires mandatory testing on children's products, bans lead in children's toys and arms the public with faster information when a potential problem emerges.
Since the law was enacted, toy recalls have dropped from 172 recalls in 2008 to 44 in 2010. Additionally, toy-related fatalities have been cut in half, from 24 fatalities in 2007 and 2008 to 12 in 2009.
"Before this law, children were playing with lead-laden Elmo toys and fake eyeballs filled with kerosene," Pryor said. "The safeguards we put in place have significantly reduced recalls and injuries, but this database will further improve the information flow and protect the public from harm."