CPCS Database Seeks to Help Consumers Research Safe Products

Each day, millions of Americans buy products in U.S. stores. When making a purchase, a consumer may consider whether the product is useful and whether the product will fit the consumer's needs. What a consumer doesn't often consider when making a purchase is whether it's a dangerous product or a defective product.

That's why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has released a consumer-oriented database at www.saferproducts.gov. The database is intended to allow a search for a product and the search will return information about the safety of the product based on governmental and consumer-provided information.

Consumer reports have begun filtering into the database since March 11. Upon submission of a consumer complaint to the database, the CPSC provides the information to the manufacturer within five days. Upon receipt of the complaint, the manufacturer has 10 days to comment or respond.

The complaint will be posted on the new database with both the original complaint, as well as the manufacturer response, within 15 business days. If the manufacturer decides to recall the dangerous product based on the consumer complaint, that information will also be posted in the database.

While it will take time for the database to receive enough product complaints to garner the big picture when it comes to a particular product, consumer advocates say it's a step in the right direction. Eventually, the database will house information that allows a consumer to search by the product, manufacturer, brand, model number, type of injury or state.

The goal of the CPSC database is to provide U.S. consumers with a more accurate picture of the safety of a product. Hopefully, the database will prevent unnecessary consumer injuries as a result of dangerous or defective products because consumers will be able to access information about the safety of a product before purchasing it.