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Federal law covers product safety, dangerous children's products

In order to avoid potentially expensive products liability lawsuits, New Jersey manufacturers usually take every precaution to ensure that their products do not harm consumers. However, incidences of manufacturer negligence with regard to warning consumers of potential dangers from use of their products do exist. Moreover, state and federal laws include provisions to protect consumers against dangerous products and impose civil and criminal penalties on manufactures that breach the requirements of consumer product safety laws.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is a landmark law, which provides the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) with a set of tools to significantly improve the commission's regulatory and enforcement capabilities. Among other things, the law addresses several points including durable infant or toddler products, toxic elements such as lead and third-party testing and certification.

ATVs, imports, civil and criminal penalties, tracking labels and a publically searchable database containing reports of harm are also addressed by the Act. Additionally, the Act also repeals a limitation placed on agency funding to allow for the number of authorized CPSC commissioners to increase from three to five.

The CPSIA also outlined what constitutes a "children's product" and placed certain qualifying conditions on such items. According to the terms, a children's product in general must meet the children's product safety rules as applicable. In addition, the product needs to be tested for compliance by a CPSC-accredited laboratory, must have provisions to permanently carry tracking information on the product as well as the packaging and also must contain a written certificate as proof that the product meets the stipulations of the law.

Source: CPSC.gov, "The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)," Dec. 6, 2013

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