The Consumer Product Incident Database— The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, signed into law in August of 2008, strengthened the authority of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC), the federal agency that oversees the safety of consumer products. The law includes many vital improvements to our safety net including lowering lead limits, issuing strong mandatory standards for infant and durable products and requiring third party testing of children’s products. The law also directed the CPSC to create a database— where consumers can report and research safety hazards experienced with a wide variety of consumer products. Before the CPSIA Passed: • While the CPSC has historically collected consumer complaints, most were hidden from the public, sometimes for long periods of time until and if a recall was announced. This meant that too often, consumers were unwittingly using products that CPSC and manufacturers knew posed safety hazards. • Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act causes this lack of transparency because it requires CPSC to essentially ask permission from manufacturers before it can communicate information about a product to the public. • Before the CPSIA passed, consumers were only able to find recall information about particular products, not safety information on non-recalled products. • While 6(b) still exists, is outside of the scope of section 6(b). has Proven Useful for Consumers and the CPSC: • went live on March 11, 2011. • The database helps the CPSC to identify trends in product hazards. • Consumers and others such as their physicians can submit reports about a harm or risk of harm associated with a consumer product to the database. • The database is also searchable to research product hazard reports. • The CPSC database contains an array of protections to ensure that inaccurate information does not get published: o anonymous reports are not permitted; o only safety-related information is permitted; o reports are only considered for publication if specific minimum fields are completed; o and manufacturers have the opportunity to correct inaccurate information and to provide their own comments. • If consumers experienced a risk of harm or an actual injury caused by a consumer product, consumers can now quickly and easily share that experience with the CPSC. Analysis of • Based on a study by CFA and KID, released in April 2012:1 ▪ In the first 10 months, 6,080 reports were filed. 1