October 9, 2009
Washington, DC—Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, praised recent government efforts to identify and reduce the impact of unintentional product-related injuries on minority children. Strong evidence indicates that minority children are more likely to have fatal accidents, such as drowning, suffocation, and poisoning, than white children. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), comprehensive product safety reform legislation passed in 2008, required a study to assess the risks and occurrence of product-related preventable injuries and deaths among minority children, including Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, and Asian/Pacific Islander children.
In late summer, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed its report, calling on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to conduct better data collection of injuries, by race, and recommending that the CPSC ensure that its safety messages are received by all audiences. The report specifically looked at preventable injuries from swimming pools, spas, toys, cribs, mattresses, bedding, and other children’s products.
Highlighted in the report was information that, regardless of neighborhood income, Black non-Hispanic males are more likely to drown in swimming pools, often during the day, at public pools. In addition, Black infants are more than three times as likely to die of suffocation and strangulation in bed. The report also noted research indicating racial disparities in rates of injury due to poisoning.
The CPSC sent its report to Congress this week outlining its planned activities to address disparities, including improving data collection and increasing outreach on safety messages to diverse audiences.
“We applaud the work of Congress, the GAO, and the CPSC for their efforts to help reduce safety hazards facing minority children. The information on the increased risk of drowning, suffocation, and strangulation of Black children is very disturbing. No parent wants to see his or her child injured or killed in a preventable accident,” said Janell Mayo Duncan, Senior Counsel with Consumers Union.
“Fortunately, strong product safety reforms coming out of the CPSIA are benefiting every American child. The racial disparities documented by recent government efforts have been a problem for decades. We are very pleased to see an ongoing comprehensive plan to identify and reduce tragic and preventable harm that disproportionately impacts minority children,” said Duncan.
David Butler, 202-462-6262
Kristina Edmunson, 202-462-6262
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers