July 30, 2008 - Markey: Consumers Win With CPSC Reform

Product database championed by Markey included in final reform bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the House of Representatives approved key consumer product safety reforms, including reforms championed by Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), primarily, establishing a national database of toy and other product warnings and risks. With the passage of H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, parents and consumers will now have access to “adverse incidents” reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Rep. Markey said, "Americans buying products for their children, grandchildren or households should not have to wait months or years to find out that someone has died or been seriously injured by the product. By establishing a national adverse incidents database, this bill will give consumers access to specific reports from doctors, hospitals, manufacturers or other individuals about injuries or risk of injury from faulty or unsafe products. This is an important step toward helping parents and their children avoid toxic toys and other dangerous products."

Rep. Markey proposed creating a public, searchable database containing reports serious injury or death or risk of serious injury or death from unsafe products during House committee mark-up of H.R. 4040 in December, 2007. Although the Markey amendment was not adopted, a version was later included in the CPSC reauthorization legislation passed by the Senate. Since that time, Rep. Markey has pressed for inclusion of the database language in the final version of the bill. In addition, Rep. Markey pressed the CPSC in February of this year to account for unacceptably long delays between when the CPSC becomes aware of faulty and potentially dangerous products, and when they release the information to the unsuspecting public.

The database that will allow consumers to access specific reports CPSC obtains from doctors, hospitals or other individuals of serious injury or death, or risk of serious injury or death that may be due to a faulty or unsafe product. The database would include a disclaimer stating the reports are provided for informational purposes only and that the Commission has not investigated the report and cannot vouch for its accuracy, so that no one will confuse a single report from a consumer with a formal recall by the CPSC.

"The Department of Transportation has online databases for complaints filed about cars, car-seats, automotive equipment or tires, the Food and Drug Administration has several publicly searchable databases to find out whether there have been problems with particular drugs or medical products - it's high time the CPSC provides similar information to help American consumers chose safe products for their homes and businesses," concluded Rep. Markey.


July 30, 2008

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836