Federal Safety Office in China Will Monitor Products for Safety

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Defective Products on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A huge amount of products Americans buy and use every day comes from China. For example, more than 90 percent of toys in the U.S. are exports from China or Hong Kong. While Chinese products are inexpensive, they have not always been safe, unfortunately. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened an office in Beijing to monitor products destined for the U.S. market.

According to a recent article from Bloomberg, the office is the first one the commission has established in China. The announcement comes on the heels of 220 product recalls the commission ordered in 2010 against Chinese manufacturers. One of the most prominent recent recalls was for children’s necklaces that contained dangerous levels of cadmium. Children’s clothing and electronics have also been subject to recalls by the U.S. government.

According to an article in the New York Times, another large recall involved toy trains and rails based on the children’s television series Thomas & Friends in 2007. Those toys were found to be covered in lead paint, which can cause brain damage if eaten. One and a half million toys were recalled in that incident.

The 220 recalls figure is a significant step down from the 467 the commission ordered in 2006 and the 346 from 2008. After that year, the Chinese government and the U.S. commission began working more closely together to improve product safety. Still, the commission saw the value in having a local resource for manufacturers to keep track of American product standards to prevent the defective products from reaching the U.S. market in the first place, the commission’s chairwoman said in the Bloomberg article.

Source: Bloomberg, “U.S. Opens Product Safety Office in Beijing to Cut Toy Recalls,” Sophie Leung, January 11, 2011

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