This afternoon, CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric gave remarks to the annual conference of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO). As many of our readers know, the Senate confirmed Mr. Hoehn-Saric on October 7, 2021 to a six-year term. This was Hoehn-Saric’s first year addressing the annual ICPHSO conference.
Notably, Chairman Hoehn-Saric picked up right where then-Acting Chairman Robert Adler left off at the 2021 annual conference—the need for the agency to approach product safety from a variety of diverse viewpoints. The Chairman cited startling statistics concerning the significantly higher rates at which African Americans drown in swimming pools and minorities suffer from CO exposure from portable generators than their White counterparts. The Chairman stated that targeting underserved, often minority, communities would be a priority for the Commission in the months and years ahead.
Chairman Hoehn-Saric then pivoted to discuss the agency’s ongoing work in addressing certain hazards, old and new, including, clothing storage units; cribs; magnet sets; window coverings; adult portable bed rails; portable fuel containers; infant products and batteries. He remarked that the CPSC will use its authority to the fullest to keep Americans safe and that failing to report to the agency [pursuant to Section 15(b) of the CPSA] “will not be tolerated.” Hoehn-Saric also stated the product safety community must overcome the mindset of some that once a product recall is announced, the process is over, and “conquer this challenge.”
Mr. Hoehn-Saric recognized his fellow Commissioners, two of whom were in attendance at the conference—Commissioners Dana Baiocco and Peter Feldman. The Chairman’s remarks at ICPHSO continue to serve as a reminder that we are undergoing a political transition at the agency that will certainly impact industry and other stakeholders.