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Product recalls on track to break record

May 15, 2008

Product Recalls on Track to Break Record Set Last Year;
Congress Needs to Finalize Strong Product Safety Measure

Washington, DC—Recalls of toys and other consumer products, which have reached nearly ten million in 2008, are on a pace to exceed last year’s record number of recalls, according to an analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recalls issued today by Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.
According to the analysis, CPSC has initiated 121 recalls of unsafe products for the first four months of 2008, a total of nearly ten million products. At the current rate, the CPSC will issue more than 800 recalls in their 2008 fiscal year, a 70 percent increase over last year.
Consumers Union says the continued onslaught of hazardous products, some 87 percent of which are made in China, underlines the need for Congress to adopt the strongest provisions of CPSC modernization bills passed by the House in December and by the Senate in March. Members of both houses have begun to meet to resolve differences in order to forward a bill to the President soon.
The Consumers Union report, “Still Not Safe: New Recalls Underline Need for Strong Hazardous Product Legislation,” also found that more than 1.3 million products have been recalled in 2008 for lead hazards.
“It is essential that Congress take the strongest provisions from each the House and Senate bills to help protect our children from hazardous products” said Ami Gadhia, policy counsel for Consumers Union..
Among the recalled products, about 800,000 were recalled because they violated CPSC’s 30-year-old, lead paint standard—the problem which appeared over and over again last year and 67 of the recalls, almost six million units, were for children’s products—toys, children’s clothing, bicycles, pacifiers, rattles, games, and cribs.
Jean Halloran, director of the CU NotInMyCart.org Campaign, who helped to compile the report, noted that one recalled product, a Cinderella car that posed a fire hazard, had 40 incidents on record at CPSC prior to the recall. “We really need Congress to mandate a creation of a public database on hazards, so parents can see if other parents are having a problem with a particular product, before it may be officially recalled,” said Halloran.
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Jennifer Fuson
(202) 462-6262