CPSC was created in 1972 by Congress under the Consumer Product Safety Act and began operating in 1973. In the Consumer Product Safety Act, Congress directed CPSC to protect the public "against unreasonable risks of injuries associated with consumer products." CPSC is an Independent Federal Regulatory Agency. CPSC works to save lives and keep families safe by reducing the risk of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products. This is accomplished by
- Developing voluntary standards with industry
- Issuing and enforcing mandatory standards or banning consumer products if no feasible standard would adequately protect the public
- Obtaining the recall of products or arranging for their repair
- Conducting research on potential product hazards
- Informing and educating consumers through the media, state and local governments, private organizations, and by responding to consumer inquiries
The CPSC oversees 15,000 types of consumer products--from air conditioners, toys and alarm systems to windows, recreational products and wheelbarrows. On average, about 250 products are recalled by the CPSC each year, almost all handled voluntarily by product manufacturers.