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Consumer Product Safety Commission
Mission | History | Key Issues | Who's in Charge

Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Mission

To protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury or death from consumer products, including toys, coffee makers, lawnmowers and smoke detectors, through voluntary and mandatory standards. The CPSC Web site provides an alphabetical list of regulated products, the regulations that cover them and a plain-English summary of rules for many common products.

The CPSC has jurisdiction over more than 15,000 consumer products. Some types of products, however, are covered by other federal agencies. For example, cars, trucks and motorcycles are tracked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; food, drugs and cosmetics are watched by the Food and Drug Administration.

History

The CPSC was created in 1972 by Congress in the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Key Issues

To be considered in 2001 is whether the government should establish flammability standards for upholstered furniture to make sofas and chairs resistant to small open flames, such as cigarette lighters.

Who's in Charge?

There are three members, who need a majority vote to take actions and approve regulations. With each member appointed for seven years, the next president will have the opportunity to replace only one commissioner, unless others leave before their terms expire.
Chairman Hal Stratton, Republican, was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed on July 25, 2002 by the U.S. Senate.

On the Web

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Use the CPSC forms page to report an injury or complain about an unsafe product.