The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today announced a provisional settlement with a toy and art materials manufacturer for failing to report important product safety information to the Commission. The settlement will impose a $300,000 penalty against Rose Art Industries Inc., of Livingston, N.J., for failing to inform the government in a timely manner about a defect in soap making kits that led to injuries to young children.
Between August 1997 and December 2001, Rose Art made and sold about 125,000 Glamour Gear Soap Making Kits nationwide. The kits, which are intended for children eight years of age and older, include bars of soap, molds and a plastic cup to melt soap chunks. A defect in the plastic cup, which is used to heat the soap in a microwave, can cause it to deform or develop a hole in the bottom and pose a serious burn hazard to children.
Between January 1998 and January 2002, Rose Art received 10 reports of children who were burned by hot soap while removing the plastic cup from the microwave. The majority of the children suffered second and third degree burns. The firm did not inform CPSC about the defect, injuries and the resulting civil litigation against the company until February 2002.
In March 2002, CPSC and Rose Art announced a recall of the soap kits. Consumers can log on to www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml02/02121.html for information about receiving a refund.
According to federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are required to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information which reasonably supports the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial risk of injury to the public, presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates a federal safety standard.
In agreeing to settle the matter, Rose Art Industries denies that the soap kits were defective and that it violated the reporting requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
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