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Purpose of the Consumer Product Safety Act


Whether it was an item recently purchased or not, residents in Pennsylvania use consumer products on a daily basis. From the toothbrush used to clean a person's teeth to the produce a person eats at meals, the cup used to carry a beverage and the vehicle a person drives from destination to destination, these are all products commonly encounter by consumers. While these items seem relatively safe, certain events can occur causing these items to create an unreasonable risk of injury to consumers.

Because design defects and manufacturing errors can occur, the Consumer Product Safety Act was passed to help protect consumers injured or harmed by consumer products. There are four major purposes of this Act.

First, it helps protect the general public from unreasonable risks of injury created by consumer products. Whether this is due to an error in the designing of the product, a defect in the product itself or errors made by the retailer of the good, this Act could be cited to create a form of protection for a harmed consumer.

Next, the Act assists consumers seeking to evaluate the comparative safety of the consumer product in question. This means that similar items or goods can be compared to assess the amount of risk associated with a product and whether that level of risk is reasonable for the type of consumer product.

The third purpose of this Act is to help develop uniform safety standards for consumer products. This is achieved by minimizing the conflicts between State and local regulations. Lastly, the Act also promotes the research and investigation of product-related deaths, illnesses and injuries. These measures help reduce and prevent such events from occurring.

When a product injures a consumer, it is important to understand the cause and whether such an event could have been prevented. If a manufacturer or retailer fails to adhere to the Consumer Product Safety Act or creates unreasonable consumer risks by placing a product into commerce, an injured consumer might be able to file a products liability claim against the manufacturer or retailer. This action does not only hold that party liable but also helps the injured party collect compensation for the person's losses and damages.

Source: Cpsc.gov, "Consumer Product Safety Act," accessed August 10, 2015

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