Among all the myriads of new products brought to market, there are some dangerous ones lurking among the majority of safe ones. These unsafe products are found in a wide sector of industries from children’s toys, baby products, car parts, tools, clothing, medical equipment, cleaning supplies and more. These products can pose all types of threats to consumers – they may be choking hazards, contain harmful chemicals, or function improperly.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission approximately 30 millions people are injured or killed every year from unsafe products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a government agency that oversees products consumers use every day, alone recalls over 400 items each year.
While fortunately there are inspections and public recalls of dangerous products, many people remain unaware or indifferent to the serious dangers posed by recalled products. Additionally, the process of examining and recalling a product only begins after a report is submitted by either a company or user. In other words, accidents often happen before it is known the product poses a safety threat.
Recalls are usually voluntary with the company working with regulators to inform customers and get the dangerous product off the shelves. Taking the products out of stores and issuing recalls does not keep consumers entirely safe, however. It is estimated that only 65% of recalled products or returned or fixed, leaving a significant percentage susceptible to injury from the damaged product.
While companies are obligated to pull recalled products from shelves and take other measures not all companies follow regulations. Home Depot recently paid a $5.7 million civil penalty for selling recalled products while Amazon is being sued over recalled glasses which caused them eye damage.
The safety hazards sometimes come about because companies take safety shortcuts in the rush to get their new products on the market. However, “when companies know that their actions could result in them being sued for large sums of money in product liability lawsuits that could permanently damage their reputations and their businesses as a whole, they are more apt to follow safety regulations, perform more detailed inspections and tests, and promptly remove dangerous products from the market,” explains Gassman Legal, P.C. which is based in Illinois.
Other recent recalls in the area of children’s products include the recall of 373,000 Michaels Creatology spin art kits and pottery wheels which can pose a fire and burn hazard.