The rates of deaths and disabilities from household accidents have dropped significantly since the creation of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, according to a report released yesterday by the Consumer Federation of America.
The study compares data that the National Safety Council collected on accidental household injuries for the nine years before the agency was created in 1973 and the nine years after.
The federation said that in 1973-82, the rate of disabling injuries per 100,000 people fell 28 percent, compared with an 11 percent drop in 1964-72. Deaths from household accidents fell 27 percent in the nine years since the agency was created, compared with a 13 percent decrease in the nine years before.
The study was aimed at an amendment to the agency's reauthorization bill, sponsored by Rep. Elliott H. Levitas (D-Ga.), that would require all of the CPSC's orders, recalls and bans to be approved by Congress and the president.
"The totals behind the rates are staggering," said Ann K. Lower, the federation's information director and the study's principal author.
"Five million fewer injuries and deaths which, using the average cost data of the NSC, means a $14 billion savings in medical costs and lost wages," she said.
In actual numbers, the number of disabling household accidents dropped from 28,000 in 1964 to 26,500 in 1972 and then to 21,000 in 1981.
An amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's reauthorization bill was described incorrectly yesterday. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Elliott H. Levitas (D-Ga.), would require the agency to get the approval of Congress and the president before issuing any regulations or product performance standards.