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Defective Consumer Products Stopped by Federal Government But Dangers Still Remain

Last year, the federal government stopped over 12 million dangerous consumer products from entering the U.S. marketplace.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission recently reported this news, attributing it to a pilot project launched in 2011. The system, known as RAM (risk assessment methodology), analyzes information from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection about imported consumer products. The independent federal agency then determines which shipments to inspect for cargo that may violate federal safety standards.

The agency’s intercepted 12.5 million unsafe consumer goods during 2013 fiscal year (October to September. In April through September 2013 alone, the agency identified 600 incoming shipments that totaled 8.2 million dangerous products.

Defective Children’s Toys

What’s worse, 550 of those 600 shipments contained defective children’s products – about 2.1 million dangerous goods in all. Most of these products were stopped because they contained unsafe levels of lead. Other dangers included toys with potential choking hazards for small children, and products that contained phthalates, a mix of chemicals that soften plastic.

In that same six-month time frame, April through September, the most commonly found unsafe consumer product not designed for children was fireworks. Over 4 million illegal fireworks were stopped by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Who is Held Responsible for Defective Products?

It is fortunate for the American consumer that these specific products never made it to market. Unfortunately, other defective consumer products, from unsafe medical devices to dangerous pharmaceuticals, are sold in this country every year.

There can be many responsible parties when defective products cause severe injuries and deaths. Designers, sellers, importers, even foreign manufacturers can be found liable for the harm their products cause. That’s why, if you or someone you has been catastrophically injured from a defective product, you may want to speak to an attorney who is experienced in investigating and litigating product liability matters.