The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched the SaferProducts.gov database, despite resistance from children’s product manufacturers. The database was launched as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Consumers can use it both to report potentially dangerous products and to search for safety information about products they own or are considering purchasing. The new site will help the CPSC identify product hazards more quickly and will also allow consumers to find out about potential dangers well in advance of any official recalls.
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"Through SaferProducts.gov consumers will have open access to product safety information that they have never seen before and the information will empower them to make safer choices," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
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Once a report is made, the CPSC will review it for completeness and accuracy and have five business days to pass along reports to the manufacturer. The manufacturer will then have 10 business days to respond to the report and provide comments and/or claims. At the end of that 10-day window, the incident report (minus any confidential information) and the manufacturer’s response will be posted on SaferProducts.gov, meaning that reports filed now will be available for viewing in early April. (The CPSC will continue to accept written reports and those submitted by phone and fax.)
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The CPSC began registering businesses online and accepting reports through the site in late January, to test the system. Since then, approximately 1500 reports have been filed online by consumers. Reports filed prior to the official launch of the database will not be visible to the public and are being processed internally by the CPSC.