CPSC Chairman Hosts “Town Hall Meeting” at the Mall of America

March 18, 2008
Release Number: 08225

 At a Town Hall Meeting held at the Mall of America, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Acting Chairman Nancy Nord met with parents and consumers to listen to their concerns and talk about safety in the home. Acting Chairman Nord briefed consumers on CPSC’s plan to increase staff to pursue consumer product hazards more aggressively. CPSC will be adding staff across the country, creating a new early warning system, and educating foreign manufacturers about US safety regulations.

“Consumer products are safer today than ever before, but when you’re talking about children’s safety, those statistics are little comfort,” said Acting Chairman Nord. “I’ve heard from parents just like you. I’ve read the e-mails, and as a mother, I share your worries. So, I’m here today to say we are working to do even more to keep children safe.”

Acting Chairman Nord also used the occasion to comment publicly about CPSC’s civil penalty against Reebok in the case of a 4-year-old Minnesota boy who died tragically after swallowing a metal charm. The $1 million settlement is a record civil penalty for a violation of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA). The FHSA bans toxic levels of accessible lead in toys and other children’s products. “The agency,” she said, “will pursue companies that knowingly violate the safety statutes of this country. There’s no pleading ignorance when it comes to public safety.”