Category Archives: Consumer Product Safety

It’s Time To Start Reporting!

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) continues to exercise its enforcement authority, this time with a company that manufactured mahogany fold away two and three step ladders which were designed for use in walk in closets. The company sold the ladders nationwide from 2005-2010. During this time they received notice of at least two dozen incidents which resulted in injuries and had over 1200 consumer returns in which the most cited reason for the return was breakage.   Under the current federal laws, the company would…

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission Continues to Exercise Enforcement

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) initiated a law suit against a well-known appliance manufacturer alleging the company failed to immediately report safety hazards associated with certain wall ovens being sold to the public. Last month, the CPSC and the manufacturer reached an agreement by which the company would pay a $750,000 civil penalty. In addition, the company must establish and maintain a compliance program consisting of internal recordkeeping and monitoring systems to track all products for any potential safety hazards. The complaint specifically alleged…

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FDA Assistance in Meeting New Food Safety Guidelines

In a practical effort to help companies meet the requirements of the recent Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the “Operational Strategy for Implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)” strategy guide on May 2, 2014.  The guide provides an overview of the FDA’s changing role in food and feed safety assurance under the FSMA and then suggests operational guidelines for actual food and feed facilities in how to work within the FDA guidelines and implement the act.…

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Portable Generators Linked to Carbon Monoxide Deaths

With the increase in violent storms and extreme weather causing more power outages, the number of homes using portable generators has dramatically increased in recent years. Portable generators have fuel burning engines and the exhaust emitted from these engines contains dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide. When used indoors or in enclosed spaces, the exhaust from portable generators can be fatal. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in a recent report, found that portable generators were linked to more than 85 percent of non-fire carbon…

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission Issues a Final Rule for Infant Bedside Sleepers

The ASTM defines bedside sleepers as “a rigid frame assembly that may be combined with a fabric or mesh assembly, or both, used to function as sides, ends, or floor or a combination thereof, and that is intended to provide a sleeping environment for infants and is secured to an adult bed.”  They are designed to allow newborns to sleep close to their parents without having to be in the parents bed. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously on January 8, 2014 to…

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What’s All the Uproar About Caramel Color?

Caramel color:  it sounds harmless – maybe even delicious – so why has it suddenly caused enough concern to draw Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attention? “Caramel color” is a common name for a type of artificial coloring regularly added to soft drinks and other foods to turn them brown. In fact, according to some studies and reports, caramel color is the single most used food coloring in the world. But some types of caramel color contain a potentially carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI). In…

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Is Your Red Plastic Gas Can a Potential Bomb Waiting to Explode?

Answer: Yes. According to recent investigations conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), there have been at least 80 separate incidents that have led to lawsuits over the past two decades. In addition, there have been at least 11 reported deaths since 1988 and approximately 1,200 emergency room visits from 1988 to 2012. Explosions occur when gas vapors escape from the gas can and come in contact with an ignition source, such as a flame or spark. The ignited vapor must travel back into…

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New Rules Regarding Safety Standards For Bassinets and Cradles To Be Issued By The Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA, Pub. L. 110-314) was enacted on August 14, 2008. Section 104(b) of the CPSIA, part of the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to promulgate consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. The Act requires the CPSC to promulgate a mandatory standard for bassinets and cradles. The Commission is adopting the ASTM F2194-13 standards with five modifications or additions that will address a variety…

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FDA Makes an Example of Colorado Farm Responsible for 2011 Listeria Outbreak

The Food and Drug Administration recently filed criminal charges against the owners of Jensen Farms, the family-owned Colorado farm responsible for the deadly 2011 listeria outbreak.  On September 24, 2013, brothers Ryan and Eric Jensen were charged with six counts each of misdemeanor Adulteration of a Food and Aiding and Abetting (21 U.S.C. § 331(a) and 18 U.S.C. § 2). Notably, the burden of proof on the misdemeanor charges is relatively low—the FDA need not prove the Jensens acted with knowledge, intent, or even negligence;…

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Safety Advocates Demand DOT Implement Rearview Camera Rule

On September 25, 2013, a coalition of consumer safety groups and parents filed a lawsuit in the Second Circuit requesting that the U.S. Department of Transportation issue a long-delayed rule requiring automakers to put rearview cameras, or other similar technology, in all new vehicles. The camera and monitor systems are intended to improve safety and reduce the number of incidents in which children are hit by vehicles backing up. The DOT originally proposed the camera requirement in December 2010, after Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen

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