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Safety Commission To Finalize Database For Safer Shopping

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By Sara Sciammacco, Capitol News Connection

Today the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will finalize the blueprint for an interactive electronic database that aims to help consumers shop for safer toys and other products.

The public database is mandated under a 2008 federal law. It will allow consumers to share their concerns or complaints about products and file injury reports.

Parents, for example, will be able to learn about the dangers of toys and other children's products while they are still on the stores shelves, regardless of whether the federal government has taken any action to regulate them.

"That's going to make manufacturers a little bit uncomfortable, it is going to make us a little bit uncomfortable because now you all will be looking over our shoulders and saying, 'Why aren't you looking at this product?'" says CPSC Commissioner Robert Adler.

He says the commission is still working out issues regarding the database. For example, it needs to clarify whether a parent who did not witness their child's toy-related injury or death can file a report as a consumer.

Some commissioners have expressed concerns that the database will be inaccurate and full of unsubstantiated complaints.

It is set to go into effect next March.

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