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Monday, 28 September, 2009 1:06 PM

Study Shows Children are Safer Thanks to Increased Focus on Product Safety by Regulators and Manufacturers

Photo credit: ExpertRECALL

The chart compares recall data for September 2007 through August 2008 and September 2008 through August 2009. A comparison of juvenile product recall data shows that recalls due to lead contamination dropped significantly year-over-year. The data comparison also shows that choking and strangulation hazards have increased year-over-year.

INDIANAPOLIS -- An analysis of data by ExpertRECALL(TM), the leader in managing consumer product recalls, found an encouraging trend in the safety of juvenile products. ExpertRECALL announced its findings in response to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association's annual Baby Safety Month.

"We reviewed recall data from September 2007 to September 2008, and for the same period in 2008 - 2009, to understand the changes year over year," said ExpertRECALL Director Mike Rozembajgier. "The number of total juvenile product recalls decreased by nearly one-third."

ExpertRECALL looked separately at data for children's toys and for juvenile products (non-toys), such as baby furniture, strollers and clothing.

Toy recalls have dropped more than 50 percent since 2007. During this time the primary hazard for toy recalls has been lead content. During 2007-2008, lead content was the cause of more than 50 percent of toy recalls. Since 2008 lead hazards have been responsible for 41 percent of toy recalls.
Choking and strangulation was the second leading cause of toy recalls at 31 percent from September 2007 to September 2008. Despite fewer total recalls in the following year, the percentage of recalls due to choking and strangulation hazards rose to 37 percent.

Choking and strangulation were also major contributors to recalls in the juvenile products (non-toy) category. Hazards found with products ranging from cribs to hooded sweatshirt draw strings raised serious concerns with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In the past year, choking and strangulation hazards accounted for 46 percent of the total recalls, while lead content and hazards related to falling each accounted for 19 percent.

Currently, eight of the ten items on the CPSC's Top Ten List of Recalled Children's Products are due to choking and strangulation hazards.

Since product recalls continue to make news, consumers are left questioning whether the industry is actually improving its safety efforts. "It's a legitimate concern," says Rozembajgier. "But consumers should know that both manufacturers and retailers are taking precautions as never before to protect the safety of our youngest, and most vulnerable, consumers."

In addition, the CPSC is strengthening safety regulations that govern manufacturers and is levying more stringent fines on offenders. For example, in June 2009, the CPSC announced that Fisher-Price and Mattel would each pay a $2.3 million penalty for toys that violated the federal lead paint ban.
New legislation under consideration by the Senate would even hold foreign companies that distribute products in the United States accountable to CPSC regulatory guidelines and make them subject to the same penalties as U.S. companies.

"Over the past few months, we've seen a concerted effort by regulatory agencies to protect consumers from harmful products. Trending data from the past two years suggests that consumer products are getting safer and, despite a potential uptick in recalls resulting from more stringent regulatory guidelines, we expect this trend to continue," according to Rozembajgier.

About ExpertRECALL

ExpertRECALL is a service of Stericycle (SRCL). ExpertRECALL is the industry leader in managing consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. ExpertRECALL streamlines the entire product recall process and manages Notification & Response, Processing & Tracking, and Compliance & Reporting For more information, visit http://www.expertrecall.com/.

Source: ExpertRECALL

Photo credit: ExpertRECALL

The chart compares recall data for September 2007 through August 2008 and September 2008 through August 2009. A comparison of toy recall data shows a significant decrease in recalls resulting from choking or strangulation hazards and lead contamination.

 

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