The Recall Roundup is a monthly survey of regulatory activity affecting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of consumer products. Subject matter may include the latest product recalls, federal agency major developments, and proposed or new federal rules. The blog’s goal is to provide an overview, rather than a comprehensive report on every development that could potentially affect businesses or consumers. Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. If you have questions or comments about the blog, please reach out to the authors.
At the end of September, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) previewed data from an upcoming CPSC report on “hazard patterns associated with micromobility products.” These micromobility products include e-scooters, e-bikes, and hoverboards, which, according to the CPSC press release, have contributed to thousands of emergency room visits and 71 known fatalities. The rate of injuries from e-scooters, e-bikes, and hoverboards continued to trend upward in 2020 and have risen 70% over the past four years. Hazards related to micromobility products arise from “mechanical, electrical, and human factors.” The CPSC press release and expected report highlight the CPSC’s view that micromobility products present a substantial and growing risk.
Consistent with the CPSC’s special focus on reducing serious risks posed by consumer products to children and infants, the CPSC kept the spotlight on infant safety in September, overseeing a recall of more than three million newborn lounge pillows and issuing special guidance on infant sleep safety for parents and caregivers. The CPSC focus on infant and children has also recently included, for example, recalls of at-home elevators, high-power toy magnets and various infant sleep products, as well as the issuance of a new rule in May tightening federal safety standards for infant sleep products (effective June 23, 2022).
Unsafe sleep environments are a major cause of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), according to a CDC report released earlier this year. The CPSC advises against a cluttered sleeping area for babies, as the majority of “nursery product-related deaths are due to asphyxiation resulting from a cluttered or hazardous sleep environment.” According to CDC data, SUID cases declined steeply in the 1990s after the introduction of safe sleeping public education campaigns by the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Institute of Health, but that decrease slowed in the early 2000s and the SUID death rate has remained relatively stable in the last two decades. Unsafe bedding thus poses a continuing public health threat, and infant sleep products are an unsurprising regulatory target in the CPSC’s endeavor to bolster child safety. The CPSC’s September lounge pillow recall and sleep safety press release demonstrate a continued commitment by the agency to eliminating unreasonable risks to newborns and children.
Total Recalls: 17
Hazards: Injury (6); Fall (4); Fire/Burn/Shock (2); Laceration (2); Ingestion (1); Drowning (1); Suffocation (1)