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African Americans in Consumer Product Safety: Henry Aaron Hill

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was created in 1972 as a result of Congress passing and President Nixon signing the Consumer Product Safety Act. From its beginning, the agency has been charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with thousands of types of consumer products. In observance of Black History Month, CPSC recognizes African American leaders in product safety and applauds their contributions.

Henry Aaron HillHenry Aaron Hill: Keeping us safe from flammability hazards before there was a CPSC

Before the Consumer Product Safety Commission was created, there first was the National Commission on Product Safety, established in 1967. This is where we meet Mr. Henry Aaron Hill.

Hill was a pioneer in chemistry, focusing on polymer and fabric flammability. Hill helped birth the new polymer-products industry that introduced familiar products such as nylon and Teflon.

After forming his own company, National Polychemicals, Inc., Hill was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to serve on the National Commission on Product Safety where he and the Commission recommended the creation of an independent federal regulatory agency to serve as an advocate for the consumer. Hill and the Commission also recommended that the new agency have the authority to issue mandatory safety standards for consumer products.

Hill’s passion for consumer safety and government accountability show in his comments about the Flammable Fabrics Act in 1970:

“The Federal Government’s approach to the problem has been ‘piecemeal, narrowly conceived and…highly ineffective.’ Since the 1967 fabrics law was passed, no new flammability standards have been promulgated. The [Health, Education, and Welfare] HEW Department has produced only one of the required annual reports to the President and Congress, and that was a year late. The Government continues to purchase flammable fabrics and clothing for its own use. Mandatory Federal standards for selected fabric items are necessary and long overdue.”

Following Hill’s time with the Commission, he became the first African American to be elected president of the American Chemical Society, an organization of chemistry and science professionals. With his vast knowledge of chemicals used in consumer products, Hill made a remarkable contribution to the safety of the African American community and the nation.

Thank you, Mr. Henry Aaron Hill.

This is the first of seven profiles of African Americans who made significant contributions to product safety in the United States.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2015/02/african-americans-in-consumer-product-safety/

Product Registration Cards: Think safety, not marketing

“Crib mattresses recalled due to risk of entrapment.” “Seven million brewing systems recalled due to burn hazard.” “Millions of popular strollers recalled due to fingertip amputation hazard to children.”

Headlines like these stream across the Internet and appear on TV almost weekly.  But, hearing or seeing a media headline about a product recall is different than getting a direct notice from a recalling company.

Here at CPSC, we know that direct notice—whether it be a phone call, an email, or a letter—is the best way to encourage you to take advantage of a recall to repair, replace, or refund.  And, one of the best tools that companies can use to reach you in the event of a recall is product registration cards.

Thanks to the “Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act,” today’s registration cards for infant and toddler products are not to be used for marketing.  The information requested, including the brand and model of the product and your e-mail address, must only be used to notify you in the event of a recall.

These registration cards can help improve the effectiveness of recalls, which is a challenge that our Chairman recently discussed with ABC News.  So we have a simple but important message to deliver to parents, childcare centers and other businesses: when you purchase a juvenile product, fill out the card.

Whether you use the card that comes with the product or register online, our message is the same: take the time to fill it out.

Success in this effort will mean that babies, toddlers, and young children will not be exposed to dangerous or defective products after they have been recalled. Parents, caregivers, and businesses will be notified, they will respond, and we will prevent a tragedy like the one that happened to Danny Keysar.

CPSC is not alone is spreading the word about registration cards.  The Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association has a valuable campaign called, “It’s not hard! Fill out the card!” Please check out their materials at: http://jpma.org/content/parents/registration-cards.  Also, Kids In Danger and the Consumer Federation of America have teamed up to provide families with a list of manufacturers that have product registration pages online: www.kidsindanger.org/productregistration.

In recent years, a new generation of safer juvenile products—including cribs, play yards, bassinets, strollers, and infant carriers—have entered the marketplace, thanks to new federal safety standards.  But, there is still the occasional recall of an infant or baby product.  To make sure you are notified in such a situation, you should fill out the card!

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2015/02/product-registration-cards-think-safety-not-marketing/

Winter Weather Warning: Safeguarding Against CO Poisoning with Portable Generators

Blog en español

Winter weather can knock out power in its path.

If you are considering using a gasoline-powered portable generator to temporarily power appliances and heaters to cook and stay warm, you need to know these five facts.

FACT #1: The exhaust from portable generators contains poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) which can kill you and your family in minutes.

FACT #2: NEVER use a portable generator inside your home or garage. Run the generator OUTSIDE ONLY, at least 20 feet from the house and away from your home’s windows and vents to keep those harmful fumes away.

FACT #3: Carbon monoxide is an “invisible killer.” You cannot see or smell it. It can quickly incapacitate and kill you.

FACT #4: Have working CO alarms in your home.  There should be a CO alarm outside each sleeping area and on each level of your home.

FACT #5: If a CO alarm goes off, DO NOT ignore it. Get everyone out of the house and then call 911 and let firefighters handle it.

Take precautions against carbon monoxide, the “invisible killer.” Your life depends on it.

 

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2015/01/winter-weather-warning-safeguarding-against-co-poisoning-with-portable-generators/

A Game Plan to Prevent TV/Furniture Tip-Over Deaths and Injuries

Blog en español

It is officially Super Bowl season and for many that also translates to TV buying season. According to a forthcoming study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, more consumers report buying televisions specifically for watching the Super Bowl than for any other sporting event – almost three times that of the World Series or NBA Finals. As consumers nationwide score deals on TV sales, new research from CPSC suggests that there are some very important steps to take once the new TV is brought home.

CPSC has previously reported that one child dies every two weeks and one consumer is injured every 15 minutes when a piece of furniture or a television falls over onto them. Children will climb anything to reach a wanted item. The results of children climbing on or near furniture and TVs can and have ended in tragedy.

Falling TV

According to a new CPSC study, when a television falls from an average size dresser, it can fall with the force of thousands of pounds.  Imagine this: the impact of a falling TV is like being caught between J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh colliding at full-speed—10 times.  Hard hits are sure to be delivered by the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, so imagine a child being struck by a force more than 10 times as powerful as a NFL lineman.

CPSC researchers conducted 38 drop tests simulating a tip-over of both cathode ray tube (CRT) and flat screen TVs on top of furniture. Using frequently reported incident scenarios and an accelerometer to help calculate the force, the researchers concluded:

  • The impact energy was typically much greater for a CRT TV than a flat screen, but both had forces that can cause serious injury on impact;
  • for acceleration of the TV, impact was between 73 Gs and 240 Gs;
  • for CRT TVs, the impact force was up to 12,700 pounds of force; and
  • for flat screen TVs, the force was up to 2,098 pounds of force.

With an impact force equivalent to thousands of pounds, no child is a match for falling TVs or furniture. Fortunately, simple and low-cost steps can prevent tip-over incidents.

CPSC’s new “Anchor It” campaign is urging caregivers to think about four important questions before buying a new flat screen TV:

Where will the old TV be placed?

How to secure the old TV in its new location?

How to secure the TV if not mounting?

Will the new TV be mounted?

Ask a sales associate for help selecting anti-tip devices. A secured TV is mounted to the wall or anchored to furniture with straps, brackets, or braces to prevent the TV from sliding.

TV-Anchor             Wall Anchor

 And lastly, remember to keep items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.

Note: our friends at Safe Kids Worldwide have turned the day before the Super Bowl into National TV Safety Day.  Check out SafeKids.org or Facebook.com/safekidsworldwide for more great safety tips.)

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2015/01/a-game-plan-to-prevent-tvfurniture-tip-over-deaths-and-injuries/

Check Your Homes for Recalled Lajobi Cribs and Glider Rockers

In 2010, the Commission issued a new federal safety standard for cribs, banning drop side cribs and ushering in a safer generation of cribs. Drop side cribs are no longer a safe place to have your infant sleep due to a danger of entrapment and suffocation. Repair kits were previously available for some recalled LaJobi products, including drop side cribs. However, LaJobi is no longer in business and repair kits are no longer available for recalled LaJobi products. Any LaJobi-made products that have been recalled should be discarded or destroyed. Most of the product recalls involve cribs, but there is also one recall involving 12 models of a glider.

Consumers with these products should immediately stop using them and destroy or discard the item. A full list of products recalled from Lajobi are listed below with links to the recalls on cpsc.gov.

PRODUCT SOLD AT PHOTO(S)
Lajobi Bonavita “Cabana” Drop-Side Cribs USA Baby, Beautiful Beginnings, Buy Buy Baby and other specialty stores nationwide from January 2006 through May 2009 for about $450. Cabana Crib
Lajobi “Molly” and “Betsy” Cribs (2001)Reannounced in 2009 Juvenile specialty stores nationwide from May 2000 through September 2001 for about $700 for the Molly model and $650 for the Betsy model. Molly CribBetsy Crib
Lajobi / Babi Italia “Tiffany” and “Josephine”  Drop-Side Cribs Babies R Us sold the recalled cribs exclusively from July 2001 through January 2003 for about $500.  tiffany or josephine crib
Lajobi / Babi Italia “Pinehurst” and Bonavita “Hudson” Drop-Side Cribs Babi Italia Pinehurst drop side cribs were sold exclusively by Babies “R” Us. Bonavita Hudson drop side cribs were sold at Baby Basics, Beautiful Beginnings, and Buy Buy Baby stores and children’s product stores nationwide for about $300. Cribs were sold from December 2006 through December 2007.  pinehurst cribhudson crib
Graco®-Branded Drop Side Cribs Made by LaJobi Children’s product stores and other retailers nationwide from February 2007 to March 2010 for between $140 and $200.Models include: Ashleigh Drop Side, Hampton Drop Side, Jason Convertible Drop Side, Kendal Drop Side, Lauren Drop Side, Rachel Convertible Drop Side, Sarah Drop Side, Shannon Drop Side, Tifton Drop Side.  Graco Branded Drop Side cribs Graco Branded Drop Side cribs Graco Branded Drop Side cribs Graco Branded Drop Side cribs Graco Branded Drop Side cribs Graco Branded Drop Side cribs Graco Branded Drop Side cribs Graco Branded Drop Side cribs Graco Branded Drop Side cribs
Bonavita, Babi Italia and ISSI Drop-Side Cribs Children’s product stores and various other retailers nationwide from May 1999 through May 2009 for between $300 and $430.  bonavita crib
Graco®-branded “Avalon Glider Rockers with Ottoman” and “Complete Nursery Solution / Katelyn” Glider Rockers The Avalon model was sold at Burlington and other mass retail stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com from December 2009 to October 2012 for about $170. The CNS Box 2 / Katelyn model was sold exclusively online at Walmart.com from November 2011 to October 2012 for about $135.   Graco gliderGraco glider
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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2015/01/check-your-homes-for-recalled-lajobi-cribs-and-glider-rockers/