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Here’s What Our Customers Say

"I think your web site is a godsend to parents so that they can check to make sure that they don't have any recalled products. I saw info on your web site in "Healthy Kids" magazine which was given to me by my pediatrician. Keep up the good work, just one life saved is worth it. Thank you."

"The recall information is Wonderful!!! The site has been a big help already. Since I have access at work and my child's daycare does not, I print out the recall notices for the center director and she posts them. For instance, the center staff had given the kids the small Halloween pumpkins with candy in them at Halloween. We never would have known about the recall notice if it hadn't been on the web page. All the parents received a copy of the notice we printed from the web. Thanks."

"It is remarkable that CPSC has taken the time and effort to produce the information in the Spanish language and for this I applaud this organization."

CPSC Web Site Offers Lifesaving Information

By Barbara Rosenfeld and Doug Noble

April 26, 1999

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is a small agency with a big mission -- saving lives and keeping families safe. CPSC has jurisdiction over more than 15,000 types of consumer products that are used in and around the home and in recreational activities. CPSC relies heavily on information technology and the information superhighway to accomplish its mission.

In 1996 the agency established its web site using the expertise of an in-house staff team. It received 30,000 "hits" a month during its first year of operation. Today, the site receives more than 700,000 hits a month.

The web site is an excellent source of lifesaving information for the public. It posts safety information each day, including news of recalls, meetings, safety publications and "what’s happening." CPSC initiated a service that invites consumers to subscribe to an automatic e-mail list so they can receive all news as soon as it is posted. This service is growing rapidly and currently has more than 8,000 ‘subscribers.’

Talk to CPSC

The site’s interactive features enable it to serve another critical function – providing CPSC with important information from the public about injuries and hazardous products. At the "Talk to us" icon, consumers are quickly routed to a form where they can report an injury, death or unsafe product. There is another form for use by physicians and other health care professionals. Coroners or health department employees who wish to notify CPSC immediately of important cases that come to their attention frequently file reports this way. This information helps CPSC to identify and act on dangerous products quickly.

Manufacturers, who are required by law to report potentially hazardous products, can also report them to CPSC via the web site. This feature is especially important as a link in CPSC’s "Fast-Track" Product Recall Program. Fast-track puts a premium on speed. Manufacturers who report a defective product and at the same time file a satisfactory plan to remove it from the marketplace within 20 days can avoid a government finding of defect and other costly and time-consuming steps in the recall process. The Fast-track program has helped CPSC remove over 55 million hazardous products from the marketplace quickly – and the program earned CPSC a 1998 "Innovations in American Government Award."

"Spotlight" on Safety

When CPSC’s customers come to its web site, they see the very latest information on recalled products under a special "spotlight" section of the homepage. Dedicated to keeping things simple, the rest of the homepage is designed to be seen on one screen with a handful of "buttons" that lead the visitor to a wide range of information not only about product safety but about other agency activities.

Be Sure To Bring The Kids!

In February, CPSC introduced its latest improvement to the site by upgrading its "4 Kids" page. This is a fun place for kids of all ages to learn about safety around the home. Visitors to the page meet "Kidd Safety" and are challenged through the use of games and puzzles to find out what they need to know about playing it safe with children’s products.

About the Authors

Barbara Rosenfeld is Senior Advisor to the Chairman and Douglas L. Noble is Assistant Executive Director for Information Services at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington, D.C. You may reach Barbara at (301) 504-0123 or You may reach Doug at (301) 504-0000 x 2250 or

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