The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that nine firms have agreed to pay a total of $355,000 in civil penalties. The penalties settle allegations that the firms knowingly failed to report to the CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, that their children’s hooded sweatshirts, jackets, or sweaters were sold with drawstrings at the hood and neck. These products, which the firms eventually recalled, pose a strangulation hazard that can cause death to children. The settlements have been provisionally accepted.
The firms paying the penalties are:
In February 1996, CPSC issued drawstring guidelines (pdf) to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled on the neck and waist drawstrings in upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts. In May 2006, CPSC’s Office of Compliance announced (pdf) that children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck would be regarded as defective and a substantial risk of injury to young children.
Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting 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 matters, the firms deny CPSC's allegations that they knowingly violated the law.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– 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.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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