Washington, DC— U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today joined with colleagues to move forward legislation that would protect consumers and get the necessary resources to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
“The recent rash of toy recalls in the last few months has been nothing short of astounding. As America continues its role as part of a growing global economy, it is clear that the CPSC, the government agency with appropriate jurisdiction, needs to be doing more to protect American consumers from harmful products. I want to know that the toys my grandchildren play with are safe, and if the CPSC needs additional resources to do their job, then we certainly should take steps to help them,” said Johnson.
The CPSC estimates that products under its jurisdiction are related to 28,200 deaths and 33.6 million injuries each year. The cost of these deaths, injuries, and other damages exceeds $800 billion annually.
When the CPSC was created in 1973, it had 786 full-time employees overseeing the safety of an estimated 10,000 consumer product categories. Today, the staffing of CPSC has shrunk to only 420 staff members, although their workload has increased to cover an estimated 15,000 consumer product categories.
The bipartisan legislation that the Senate has begun considering today increases funding for the CPSC, bans the direct use of lead in all children’s products, requires third party safety certification on children’s products that enter the United States, and makes it unlawful for retailers to sell a recalled product.