If you read the fundamental mission of the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States, you see that it is charged with, “Protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.” And yet, if you read a bit farther you see something quite startling. What is so startling? Even though this group admits that its sworn duty is to protect consumers, there are more than $1 trillion in costs related to death, injury, and property damage due to unsafe or unhealthy products each year.
Whether it is mechanical, electrical, chemical, or fire hazard, that one agency says it is working to keep you safe. But, how safe can we be when the group admits to the billions of dollars in damages that hit consumers every year?
When you also hear about the FDA’s (Federal Drug Administration) 510(k) program, it will not alleviate any stress about consumer safety. This program allows medical device makers to put their newest inventions and products into the marketplace – the medical industry – without any clinical testing. If the company can prove that their product is similar to something else already out on the market, it gets approval. In just four years (between 2005 and 2009) around 71% of the products approved through this program were recalled because of safety issues.
Vehicles are overseen by one agency – the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Treasury has to monitor the safety of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. This is a lot of work for single agencies to handle, and it can leave a lot of room for error and injury.
How Safe Are We?
Just those facts do make it hard to see ourselves as safe, and so it is up to you as the individual consumer to take your safety and security into your hands. How? As the old saying tells us, “knowledge is power.” This site is going to give you a lot of basic facts about many different issues. From birth injuries and cancerous conditions to bike helmets and cabinet locks, you will learn what you need to know to make the most well-informed decisions.
While we must not abandon trust in those agencies striving to create and uphold safety regulations, we have to admit that they could be a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products and materials that they must screen. We must also see that in their rush to get new solutions to the markets; some bad choices have allowed even worse things to occur.
What Can You Do?
So, as a consumer in the modern world, you now know that you must be responsible for your safety by taking the time to learn what you need to know. Discovering the safest products, keeping tabs on news relating to the latest recalls, and even going as far as filing reports with sites like this when you discover defective, unsafe, or even harmful goods or products is part of the solution.
You must also use whatever legal resources are available, and encourage others to do so, as well, should you suffer any injuries or damages due to products unsafe for the consumer market. The same applies to your legal responsibility when a pharmaceutical firm or healthcare provider behaves in a way that leaves consumers unsafe.
How is it a responsibility? Just as those organizations mentioned above take it upon themselves to ensure that only safe consumer goods and products are in the marketplace, you too must see it as your consumer responsibility. If you have suffered because of a medication’s harmful side effects…take legal action to help protect others! If you have been injured by a defective product…take action to ensure no one else suffers the same harm or damages!
This site is here to help inform you and enable you to take steps to secure consumer safety and prevent anyone from injury or harm.