Throughout the history of Consumer Reports and Consumers Union, identifying marketplace hazards and improving product safety has always been a core part of our mission. We highlight several topics that we hope the CPSC will emphasize in fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
First, we urge the CPSC to prioritize several substantial hazards that consumers encounter around their home—or even in their pocket—that are “hidden,” or that may be unknown or poorly understood. These include furniture and TV tip-overs, CO and smoke alarms, laundry detergent packets, window covering cords, and the safety of battery and electronic systems.
Second, we urge the CPSC to prioritize several hazards associated with consumer products used outdoors, which represent a significant focus of ours at Consumer Reports. These include carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators, lacerations from pressure washers, amputations and other injuries from table saws, and pool safety.
Third, hazards related to products designed for some of our most vulnerable—infants and toddlers—should remain a top CPSC priority. This includes ensuring safe sleep products and moving forward on both pending and future Section 104 standards under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
Fourth, we urge the CPSC to take several steps on chronic hazards.
Finally, the CPSC is a critical agency that is chronically under-resourced. Its overall budget, staffing levels, and communication and outreach efforts should all be increased.
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