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CPSC Promotes New Recall App During National Consumer Protection Week

Federal safety officials have launched a national campaign, which is designed to educate consumers and provide free resources, including a mobile app, that is designed to help improve access to important recall information and safety warnings.

As part of it’s annual National Consumer Protection Week, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is highlighting a number of different services and utilities available to better educate the public on product safety.

The CPSC campaign will be used to highlight the commission’s new recall app on Friday, which the agency indicates will make recall information more readily available, especially for mobile users. The app was designed to allow users to quickly search for product recall information or receive notifications about new recall releases.

The app was launched last month, and can be downloaded for free. However, the CPSC is now taking comments from the public on how it can be improved and made more useful.

On Monday, the agency kicked off the Consumer Protection Week by explaining the CPSC’s jurisdiction over thousands of types of products, including smart phones, electronics, household items, and many more. The agency is tasked with issuing recalls and enforcing mandatory standards to help consumers keep hazardous products out of their home and educating the public on current issues.

Tuesday the agency outlined the public availability of the CPSC Product Safety Information Database website, where consumers may report an unsafe product or search throughout the database for past recalls of products, and current recalls and safety notices on products consumers may be considering purchasing or already have in their home.

The third day of the campaign focused on encouraging consumers to reach out to a live representative from the agency when needed, by promoting the CPSC Hotline. Consumers were encouraged to call 800-638-2772 to speak with a representative about any product safety concerns or questions.

Thursday’s topic promotes the Neighborhood Safety Network (NSN), a free online service that provides life-saving information in the form of posters, videos and email messages that difficult-to-reach consumers may sign up to receive notifications.

Federal agencies have been looking for new ways to improve recall awareness, which in many cases can save lives. Although the CPSC’s jurisdiction is different from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA), the FDA released a draft guidance (PDF) last month which details the agency’s policies on public warning and notification of recalled products. The guidance followed an announcement by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb that he would push the agency to give consumers better “actionable information” about recalled food products.

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