How does the Consumer Product Safety Commission operate to protect consumers?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission operates through the federal government to assess and regulate products meant for consumer use. The CPSC conducts safety tests and inspections, takes reports from consumers, and places safety restrictions into effect. When a product is determined to be unsafe, the CPSC works to recall sales, remove the product from stores and websites, and prohibit it from sale until the safety issue has been fixed; for example, a toy containing lead-based paint may be recalled by the CPSC and then reissued with non-toxic paint. 

Aside from consumer reporting, the CPSC has the resources of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which takes reports from emergency rooms and hospitals regarding injury; if the injury has resulted from a specific product use, the CPSC can investigate and test the product to see if the accident is common or fluke. They also operate a public-complaint website which publishes consumer reports on different products; the reports are not directly investigated by the CPSC and relies on the honesty of consumer reporting for accuracy.

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