As organizations working to improve product safety and prevent needless deaths and injuries, we strongly urge you and your colleagues on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government to significantly increase FY 2022 annual funding for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). We support the request for the CPSC to receive at least $281 million and an additional one-time allocation of $89 million, as outlined in the March 1, 2021, letter from CPSC Acting Chairman Bob Adler to Chairwoman DeLauro.
Established by Congress in 1972, the CPSC is charged with a critical mission to protect the public from hazards associated with over 15,000 different types of consumer products. Its statutes give the Commission the authority to set mandatory safety standards; participate in voluntary safety standards; require labeling; force the removal of hazardous products from store shelves and order product recalls and other corrective actions; collect injury, death, and incident data; and educate the public about consumer product safety.
The CPSC is responsible for protecting the public from product hazards, but its funding and staffing levels are insufficient to fully carry out its mission. The agency’s scope of work is enormous; for example, the CPSC reviews about 8,000 unintentional product-related death certificates each year, and is aware of at least 15.5 million emergency department-treated injuries per year associated with consumer products. The societal costs of consumer product incidents amount to more than $1 trillion annually.
Specifically, the requested funding would allow the agency to fulfill its mission more effectively: expand testing capabilities, modernize testing and data collection infrastructure, and increase its presence at major U.S. ports, among other things. Additional funding would also provide the CPSC the resources necessary for increased oversight and recall participation that would help remove recalled products more completely from the marketplace and homes. It would also allow the agency to bolster its critical work on strong mandatory safety standards for product hazards tied to a significant number of injuries and deaths, including those associated with portable generators, high-powered magnets, and dresser tip-over incidents. Furthermore, the funds would allow the agency’s compliance department to investigate more incidents and address serious product safety concerns more quickly.
Consumers depend upon the CPSC to protect them from unsafe products, especially as the consumer product marketplace rapidly changes. If the CPSC is not adequately funded, people will not receive adequate protection from either longstanding hazards or newly emerging ones.
We look forward to working with you to ensure that the CPSC receives the funding it needs to keep the public safe from product hazards and protect consumers from product-related deaths and injuries, many of which can be prevented.
For the full letter, click here.