Breaking Down The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

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You’ve been working hard all day. You’ve just spent 8-12 hours out in a world where everything around you has the possibility of ending your life. You have just come home and you feel the overwhelming desire to recline on your couch, turn on your TV, play with your son and his action figures, and then pull out your favorite book and relax before bed. Your home is a safe haven– a place safe from the dangers ever present in the world on the other side of your front door. At least, you’d think so.

In today’s super powered economy, everything you touch and use in your own home has been made by someone else. 

Everyday products like furniture, toys, jewelry, books, clothing, electronics and school supplies have recently come under scrutiny due to increased illnesses and fatalities associated with the handling of these products. Why are people getting sick? How is it possible that your son’s action figure can kill him? Because of the massive world market there is an equal massive demand. 

With the increased demand there is a decrease in safety regulations. 

Companies get lax. They let little things slide. To decrease costs and increase profits, companies use cheaper products that might not necessarily be safe for the consumer. One thing leads to another and all of a sudden there are fatal levels of lead present in a simple cake decoration.

What can be done to insure your safety and the safety of those you love? 

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is the answer to your question. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, by definition, is an act created to establish consumer product safety standards and other safety requirements for children’s products and to reauthorize and modernize the Consumer Product Safety Commission. What does this mean to you, the consumer? 

Simply put, this act was created to impose new standards and requirements on the manufacturers of many household products consumed by people.

What products are these? Bedding, science kits, video games, books, other educational materials, home furnishings, clothing, shoes, personal hygiene products, and jewelry are all products that fall under the watchful eye of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. 

What else does this act include? 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been falling behind the times. With more and more products being manufactured in foreign countries, the commission has found that its reach is rather limited in the world market. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act authorizes much needed changes to the commission so that the CPSC could upgrade itself to meet the needs of the Americans depending on the present world market.

These upgrades are very important and include regulations requiring businesses and manufacturers to provide certificates of conformance. 

This certificate states that the company’s products have been tested and have been shown to conform to the regulations set forth for that particular product. This regulation has been imposed on every product produced on or after November 12th 2008. This certificate of conformity must follow the product through the company distribution chain all the way to the retailer. 

The certificate must be in English, list all pertinent physical information (address, phone number, third party testing facilities), list the date and location of manufacture and testing, list the contact information of the records keeper, and list each applicable regulation, standard or ban.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has been a blessing to many who have lost loved ones due to fatal levels of lead in much handled products. 

Unfortunately, not everyone is pleased by the new act. Many retailers are feeling the bite and have transferred the pain to the customer. Because of the increased scrutiny, many manufactures now have increased costs in order to comply with product standards. These increased costs are seen on retailer invoices, which have many retailers grimacing. 

Many retailers have coped with the increase in costs by taking certain products off the shelves. Others have put the increase in cost squarely on the shoulders of the consumer. The consumer, in turn, feels the increase in their wallet. This leads the consumer to either bypass that product on the shelf for a cheaper product or not buy that product at all. This can lead to a decrease in sales, which leads to a decrease in profits, which leads to a big punch in the gut to manufacturers. This is a vicious cycle that the Consumer Product Safety Commission is intent on ending.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act began as a means to insure that consumers feel safe using products in their own homes. 

Much to the dismay of many in the world economy, the Act has become a mountain to scale. This mountain is a harsh and demanding crag that has many businesses hoping that they don’t miss a step and plummet into debt and bankruptcy.

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