This morning at the Consumer Federation of America’s Consumer Assembly in Washington, DC, Consumer Products Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye announced a record civil penalty against Gree Electric Appliances, the manufacturer of millions of particularly flammable dehumidifiers that were recalled in 2013 and 2014. The company has been ordered to pay $15.45 million to the CPSC to settle charges that they failed to report fires to the Commission, “knowingly made misrepresentations to CPSC staff,” and put UL safety marks on products that didn’t meet UL standards. [More]
Regular readers of Consumerist know that we cover a lot of recalls — from faulty booster seats to wine openers with potentially bloody consequences — many of them announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. We recently met with CPSC chair Inez Tenenbaum to discuss how the commission works with manufacturers on everything from the recall process to new standards on lead and drop-side cribs, and why some within the commission are attempting to scuttle its new products database.
Does your crib pass the new strict safety rules that went into effect Tuesday? Most likely not. “Newly required safety tests are so stringent that few cribs in American homes — even those that have escaped recall after recall — are sturdy enough to pass them,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “As a result, federal regulators recommend that families that can afford to do so buy new cribs and destroy their old ones.” Here’s what you need to know.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that due to 153 deaths in the last four years, they have voted (5-0) to ban drop-side cribs.
Back in June we noted that the FDA was about to get a lot more say over the tobacco industry if the Senate approved a new bill. Well they did, and so yesterday the FDA flexed its new muscles by banning fruit, herb, spice, and candy flavorings from cigarettes. That’s right: clove cigarettes were just banned by the FDA, which is bad news for gothy teens and great news for everyone else.
When the CPSIA—the toy safety law that requires independent lab tests on toys—was passed, a lot of smaller toy manufacturers complained that it was really a dirty trick by the big toy companies to increase overhead for the small ones. Now comes word that the government has secretly exempted Mattel from the law’s testing requirements—even though Mattel was responsible for 6 lead-tainted toy recalls in 2007.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) has been delayed for one year for crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers by the CPSC. Instead of just giving specific exemption for like libraries and Etsy peeps, the CPSC decided to kick the can down the road. At least, however, the lead paint ban and lead in children’s jewelry standards will still go into effect.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the upcoming implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The law requires that all children’s products be tested for lead and has caused a major freak out amongst librarians (who don’t really want to test their books for lead, or ban children from the library) and thrift stores (who can’t afford to test used toys for lead). Apparently, according to consumer groups that support the bill, the CPSC is supposed to be monitoring this situation and adding exceptions as needed, but has been ignoring the issue. Now those groups are asking President Obama for a change of leadership within the CPSC. Read their letter inside.
Reselling your kid’s used clothing could soon violate federal law. Come February 10, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will prevent retailers from selling children’s products that haven’t been certified as lead free. Old hand-me-downs, of course, haven’t been certified for anything more than running around the yard. Parents are worried, petitions are being drawn up, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission isn’t doing much to clarify the law.
In this letter (PDF) sent to CPSC chair Nancy Nord, and released to the public, Consumers Union and a bunch of other consumer interest groups ask the CPSC to please do its part to clear up all the confusion over the coming Toy Testing Apocalypse. Don’t want to read the whole thing? Here’s a much shorter summary:
Thanks to big companies like Mattel, this may be the last Christmas season for a lot of handmade or custom toys from small businesses.