Consumer Product Safety Commission

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Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Consumer Product Safety Commission was established to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury from consumer products; to assist consumers in evaluating the comparative safety of consumer products; to develop uniform safety standards for consumer products and to minimize conflicting state and local regulations; and to promote research and investigation into the causes and prevention of product-related deaths, illnesses, and injuries. The commission is an independent federal regulatory agency, established by the act of October 27, 1972 (86 Stat. 1207). It makes information available to the public through its Web site, <>.

The commission has primary responsibility for establishing mandatory product-safety standards in order to reduce the unreasonable risk of injury to consumers from consumer products. It also has the authority to ban hazardous consumer products. The Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2051 et seq. [1972]) authorizes the commission to conduct extensive research on consumer product standards, to engage in broad consumer, industry information, and education programs, and to establish a comprehensive injury-information clearinghouse.

In addition to the authority created by the act, the commission assumes responsibility for the Flammable Fabrics Act (67 Stat. 111; 15 U.S.C. 1191), the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (84 Stat. 1670), the Hazardous Substances Act (74 Stat. 372; 15 U.S.C. 1261), and the act of August 2, 1956 (70 Stat. 953; 15 U.S.C. 1211), which prohibits the transportation of refrigerators without door-safety devices. The act also provides for petitioning of the commission by any interested person, including consumers or consumer organizations, to commence proceedings for the issuance, amendment, or revocation of a consumer product safety rule.

In 1999, the commission introduced a new interactive section for children, on its web site. Geared toward children between the ages of 8 and 12, it features games and puzzles that are designed to test children's knowledge of safety and to teach them safety facts.


Consumer Protection.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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